Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thol - Bird Sanctuary

Relatives.  They are all weird.  There is no escaping them.  So when a cousin messaged the entire "family group" on whatsapp last week, "let us go for a picnic and dinner during Diwali", I was almost sure that the plan will never materialise.  But eventually, plans started to shape.  Only problem is, multiple plans were shaping at the same time.  You have no idea how insane it is to deal with people who have extreme temperaments.  Anyhoo. Without getting into how many times I had to control myself not to yell at people, let me just talk about Thol lake and bird sanctuary.  (ps: I am extremely cool and seldom lose my temper.  It takes tremendous amount of provocation to make me lose my cool.)

There was a convoy of 4 cars and one car killed a bird, a cuckoo, who thought it was a chicken and decided to cross the road.  No, I was not driving that car.  I am a very safe driver.  The same car also almost killed two kites who also thought they were chicken, and one cyclist who thought to save himself from one car, he should ride into another car from other direction.  The point here is, drive carefully on these roads, because even though they are in good shape, animals and people and birds do not follow traffic rules.  Go slow.

Kindly click on image to see if you can spot anything. If you do, leave a comment, Lord Vayu will bless.  This was the first picture I clicked.  We wanted to catch the sunrise at the lake, but everyone else wanted to leave only by 7, and the lake is about 20 kms on the outskirts of the city.  I'd suggest poop well before you leave, mostly because the roads are pretty bad the last 1-2 km stretch.  And you don't really want to poop at the loo there.  You never know which animals inhabit those open door toilets and which one will come and bite you on your behind.  I'm sorry, I just like to give people honest advice about pooping and toilets. 

Moving on.

 Basically, that is the lake. Or as I now call it, Gogaland.  That's the lake.  You can spot birds there, and a lot of migratory birds come there.  A cousin tried to point a pelican to me, but I'm pretty sure those were ducks.   There is a stretch on walkway (uneven) around the lake, which you can walk and try to spot birds.  However, be careful about the thorns.  I have a few scratches on my hands.  A cousin tells me he has spotted flamingos and all also there, but as I said, I only saw ducks.  And while I was sitting on my own, on a log of fallen tree and taking in the beauty of nature, I saw some hooded figure in the water.  I thought it was something, but was not sure.  Few seconds later, the same hooded figure popped up again.  This time I was sure it was a snake.  So I warn people around there there may be snakes in the water.  Cousin confirmed of presence of water snakes in the lake.  But they're harmless.  Okay, then.  But in few minutes, I saw another hooded figure coming out of the water, and few minutes later, it got its entire body out.  IT WAS A FRIGGING DUCK.  So now I was not sure whether I saw a duck or a water snake.

After an hour, I was sitting on another log of fallen tree and I hear a splash nearby.  A FRIGGING SNAKE FELL OFF THE BRANCH IN THE WATER. DUDE. 

Yaar, even if the snakes are nonpoisonous, they are still snakes and they give me the creeps.  After that, I was extremely alert about the surroundings.

4 year old niece was walking too close to the lake where her father, my cousin, tried to warn her by saying, 'beta, udhar mat chalo, udhar goga rehta hai'. 

#FunFact Snakes are called "goga maharaj/goga bapa" by some Gujarati communities who worship snakes.

For reasons unknown to me, I find this incredibly amusing and cackle up every time I think of it.

Point is, be careful, and be alert. You never know when you come across a goga.

 Exotic birds spotted. Almost sure they're crows.

 Dora, the explorer.  4 year old niece. Please note the elephants on her night suit. I want a night suit just like that.  Also, so proud of the fact she's holding binoculars properly.

 I'm such an amazing cameraperson. I clicked this while putting my hTC phone camera on binoculars.  It was blue, and looked like kingfisher.  However, I won't be surprised if it's a stupid domestic sparrow.  But I'm pretty sure its kingfisher.  Maybe he also spotted a goga.

Making noise here is an offense.  Considering how loud our family gets when we laugh, we may have been blacklisted by now.

And we got back an hour back.  And now even though I'm sleepy, I decided to put up this blogpost because I don't want to nap now.

Anyhoo.  Good bye and kiss to all those who have read all the way till the end of this post.

Goga Maharaj will bless.