to find the Great Indian Bustard
an endangered species found only in Kutch and north Rajasthan we were in good company. Mr. Jethi's nephew joined us, a bird spotter extraordinaire, who took time off work to join us, and a warden of the Forestry Department.
The Banni Grasslands is the GIB habitat. In the summer they are knee high in grass. This time of year it is dry. Lots of little hoppy birds but not a GIB which stands at around 5ft tall.
A side trip to Jackau interested me. It's right on the west coast of Kutch and I have told there is nothing to see, except at I found out, hundreds of fishing boats.
As you fly into Bhuj the coast is covered with rectangular marks, salt pans. Gujarat provides India with salt, and seeing the process is quite amazing.
mountains of salt
the fishing boats, at least three deep, stretch as far as the eye can sea
with the Pakistan border 150 nautical miles away there has always been contention
in these waters. Indian/Pakistan fishermen straying across the boundary and ending
up in jail. Now fitted with GPS there is less chance of this happening the boats all
go off together landing their catch in big ships ready to transport it to wherever.
And as to the GIB, later in the afternoon the warden was alerted by one of his men that
there had been a sighting. Goodness me, not only did we see one but five and there are
only six in the whole of Gujarat. Big tick.
Note: I love textiles and Keith loves bird photography. We both enjoy each other's interests, which makes for a happy holiday. If you really need to see what a GIB looks like,
check out Keith's website in a couple of weeks. They are quite incredible. We were very lucky having two extremely knowledgeable guides with us. Very happy Mr. R