Magadi Lake- Winter home for Bar Headed Geese

I was on weeklong trip to north-western Karnataka during last week of Nov, while driving from Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary to Daroji Bear Sanctuary, I made stop at Magadi lake (Near Gadag).
First I want to thank CCF Mr Vijay Mohan Raj for discovering, developing and then passing on this location to people like us to go and enjoy. Since in one of his presentation during VTP, Vijay Mohan Raj had mentioned about this place, I wanted to make a trip. I remember couple of year ago Sandeep , Selva and I made trip to Somanthapura for Bar-headed Geese . I was excited to see few of them, But at Magadi lake experience was different. There must be few thousands of them, lake was blustering with calls and sky was dotted with them as they fly pass you.

Twilight at Lake Magadi


As the day breaks, these geese will begin leaving lake towards feeding ground in nearby agriculture field. One after another, flock of hundreds will pass over you and by 6.30 all have gone. Forest Department had made 3 store watch tower, which is excellent place to observe. If you reach after 6.30 am don’t be surprised to see empty lake. This the time you can think of having a tea or breakfast. Magadi town has few outlets which serve hot tea and some mouth watering snacks (especially if you were up at 4.30).


So around 8.00 am again action begins as after feeding in nearby fields, all of them start returning to lake. Again it will be opportunity to try out all possible photographs you thought of creating: flying shot, flying shot at slow shutter speed, flying shots with panning etc...You will keep on shooting till 9 -9.30 , when all will return back to lake. My 8GM card was full, as I was not bothered to erase other card thinking that 8 GB would be enough. So while having breakfast I was end up doing which I hate to do on field, copying card into laptop.




Now as Geese settles into lake we will have another round of those photographs we always wanted: Portraits, wing flapping, taking dive, preen, grooming etc.




As the sun rise high, reflection of light from water surface might give us much needed break for Lunch. There are hotels in village which serves both Veg & non-veg, but both remains close on “Amavasya”, unfortunately it was Amavasya on that day , so I remember. But then you can find Lays & coke in smallest of town.

Tagged(K06): If you see, share number with forest guard, as they are keeping track, green one comes from Mangolia


Single: This photograph will difficult to get


Most interesting time is during evening hours from sunset till dark. You will have hundreds of opportunity to photographs them in water and sky, with changing shades of water & sky, from blue to orange to purple and then violet. Though Initially I thought I will spend day and move on, but whole experience was so amazing that I chose to stay one more day and enjoy whole experience one more time.





Nearest town: Lakmeshwar (11Km), it had PWD IB and a decent hotel near bus stand.
Forest department had done commendable job to make this winter home of migratory birds safe. They has developed fencing around lake towards village, a watch tower and encouraged villagers to form a conservation society. Department had also deputed a Guard, who is very helpful.
Good time: Mid Nov –till Feb end
Forest Guard Mob No: 8105387036 (sorry I had bad memory, missed his name).
Do visit to see those lovely beauties, they travelled few thousand km to reach us, we are just 400km away.


+1 #11 Badri 2016-01-12 03:27
Lovely images and great account!
+1 #10 Rosita 2016-01-11 16:00
So so beautiful, particularly the birds against the sun
+1 #9 Sathya Narayanan KD 2015-01-08 17:01
Great Images and narration. I have been here a couple of times.
+1 #8 Saandip Nandagudi 2014-03-04 13:06
Awesome images & info Yashbhai.. TFS
+1 #7 Rana & Sugandhi 2014-01-10 06:29
Lovely images and write-up!

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