Around 12 km from Jamnagar, Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary, home to a number of resident and migratory birds, is located in an area stretching up to 6.05 km. A birdwatchers paradise, it was officially declared as a sanctuary in May 1981. Construction of reclamation bunds, before Indian Independence, has led to the formation of two fresh water lakes. The bunds helped to prevent seepage of salty water into the soil and to store freshwater drained by Ruparel and Kalindri Rivers.
The sanctuary plays host to birds who prefer marine, freshwater, or both kinds of habitats as there is a freshwater environment at one side of the bund and a marine environment at the other. Being located at the Northeast coastal region of Jamnagar district, the creeks flowing from the other side of the bund create a marine setting, where healthy marine vegetation, like marshes, salt pans and mangroves, flourish. The bird watching experience is enhanced with the availability of three watch towers, inspection paths and paddleboats.
The location of the sanctuary on the western-most end of the country brings it on the traditional path of migratory birds. Moreover, having a unique wetland setting attracts a large number of feathery creatures to nest in the winter season of the year. The types of nests can differentiated on the basis of their location – nests on trees, nests on the ground and nests on water (floating nests).
More than 250 species of resident and migratory birds can be found over here; some of the most remarkable birds among them include - Dalmatian Pelican, Black-headed Ibis, Painted Stork, Black-necked Stork, Brahminy kite, Indian Skimmer, Marsh Harrier, Grey Francolin, Indian Spotted Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Eurasian Pigeon, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Common Greenshank, Garganey, Common Teal, Comb Duck, Indian Pond Heron, Demoiselle Crane and so on.
Nilgais, wolves, mongoose, jackals, rabbits, jungle cats and a few varieties of snakes have made Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary their home.
How to Reach Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary
By Air: Nearest airport is in Jamnagar, which is about 20 km from the bird sanctuary
By Train: Around 11 km from Jamnagar Old Railway Station. And around 7 km from Hapa Railway Station.
By Road: Nearest Jamnagar Bus Station (GSRTC) is about 15 km
Best Time to Visit Best time to visit Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary is from October to March. Early morning or sunset is the best time of the day to check out the wonderful avifauna at Khijadiya.
Nearest Places to Visit
Narara Marine National Park is 60 from Jamnagar on the way towards Dwarka.
You can reach by road and enjoy the coral walk when the tide ebbs.
Best time to visit is between December to March.
Shree Dwarkadhish Temple is 148 km (approx.) away from the bird sanctuary.