Birding in Nepal (II): Lumbini Crane Sanctuary

Birding in Nepal (II): Lumbini Crane Sanctuary

When:  November 2017                     Weather: Cool 18-25C

Nikon P900   Leica M240/35mm summilux

I had read about the Lumbini International Crane Sanctuary before arriving in Lumbini and managed to spend a morning there.  It’s not very well signposted but we found it eventually; it’s in the northern end of the Lumbini Temple Complex right outside the World Peace Pagoda, not far from the Kasai Hotel.   The sanctuary isn’t a fenced off area, it’s just the open land surrounding the World Peace Pagoda.  The sanctuary is reputed to be the place where the Sarus Crane breeds in significant numbers but I wasn’t sure if there would be any there….

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The world peace pagoda

 

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The path leading into the sanctuary just outside the gate to the World Peace Pagoda

 

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Walking into the sanctuary, it was quiet to start with…then a pied bushchat appeared on the surrounding wall of the pagdoa.

 

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There is an observation tower just inside the sanctuary which proved quite useful…I climbed up the tower and cast my eyes around…..no sign of any Sarus cranes at all….

 

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A little cormorant with its breakfast

 

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view from the tower of the wetlands

 

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white wagtail

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red vented bulbul

 

 

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Even the house crow looks quite nice with fruit in beak and bright sunshine!

 

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A pair of rufous treepies flitted about the trees

 

After an hour and no sign of the Sarus Cranes, I took a walk around the perimeter of the wall of the Peace Pagoda to see if I could find the nesting Cranes but no joy….so I headed back to the watchtower to try my luck again….

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Some red wattled lapwings brightened up the morning

 

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white throated kingfisher

 

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and in the distance a magnificent and endangered Woolly necked stork perched

 

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interestingly a crow took exception to the stork and buzzed him….

 

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a big bird flew overhead….

 

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and perched in the distance…a Crested serpent eagle

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An open bill stork made an appearance, but still no cranes…

 

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plain prinia

 

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scaly breasted munia

 

And just as I was about to give up and go back…I saw something in the distance..

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at first glance, just a rock like object…

 

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which then stretched out to reveal a miagnificent Sarus Crane, what I had come to seek!

 

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Casting my binoculars around, I saw that there were actually two of them….a couple in all likelihood

 

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striking a characteristic pose

 

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posturing at each other

 

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The magnificent Sarus Cranes of Lumbini

 

Bird watchers who visit Lumbini to see the birthplace of Buddha will find that Lumbini is a small treasure trove of many Asian birds. This place, the Lumbini Crane Sanctuary  and the Sacred Garden of the Lumbini Temple Complex offered excellent birding in a small location and over a brief period.  Highly recommended!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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