Rajasthan Trip – Khichan


By accident I came across this place – Khichan – somewhere between Bikaner and Jaisalmer. The place where thousands of Demoiselle Cranes spend their Winter.

It would be a long drive to Jaisalmer from Bikaner and I really wanted to see a bit “in between” the two places. Didn’t find that much from my usual research. Only now and then a picture popped up and a one paragraph coverage on these gray migrating birds. I love animals, especially the ones we don’t find where I live. Crossing my fingers that our driver knew the spot we were talking about. He did (obviously… in his 20 years or so he is touring Rajasthan with tourists, there should have been at least one wanting to see this right?).

When we arrived, we seemed to be the only ones. Thank God there is a toilet. Or maybe not “Thank God”… Here we go again with our tissues to avoid touching any doors and handles, one of us on the lookout, the other one meanwhile doing squad exercises to avoid touching anything else and lots of disinfecting gel to finish off. We have our routine perfected.

Opposite the entrance a group of children is watching our every move and a mix of old and less old men seem to be under influence of something as they have a strange gaze in their eyes. Creepy.

Efforts are made to make it nice to view the birds, which assemble on the banks of the large pond. The young trees are protected from the cows and other grazing mammals by cylindrical walls around them with “Hero” bricks… cool. Only a huge pity that no-one is picking up the garbage here. Argh…

But we loved watching the birds doing their thing and the stray dog which is drinking from the pond and then tries to pull his paws from the mud. The local community has been feeding the birds since the 1970’s and they come back each year to spend their Winter. Coming from the Great Planes, the birds cross the Himalaya – 8 km high!!!!!! – to get here.

We continue to have those strange coincidences on our trips… My friend and I have the same nickname – Greet. Next to the fact that this Flemish name is rather impossible to pronounce in any other language, it is also kind of difficult to get the attention of the right Greet when you just use our names. So, we go by the name of Black Greet and White Greet, referring to our hair color. It even goes that far that bookings are made under the name of Black and White. And then… here… where we want to see BIRDS… two cows are strolling by… a Black one … and a White one…

Really ????

As I am taking pictures of the birds my friend does her “on-top-of-the-world” pose to have a nice portrait taken. The birds get alarmed and the whole flock lifts off. What a sight… impressive…we are in the midst of the movie Birds. My friend looks at me asif she has opened Pandora’s box… Apologies birds, we will leave you in peace now…

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