If you really thought IIM-A is all about academics alone, it’s time you think again! There are many groups within the red-bricked walls who pursue their interests along with academics and a few of them regularly venture outside campus too. We are talking about the nature club and photography club of IIMA. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, things were going on fine at their own slow pace, when a group of 25 odd nature lovers got together to enjoy the scenic beauty of Thol Lake. It was a pre planned trip by Prakriti-The Nature Club and Perspectives- the Photography Club of IIM A. Situated about 35 km from the campus, in the village of Thol, this beautiful lake is an ideal place for nature lovers. It’s a birder’s paradise and photographer’s delight. Thol Lake is a shallow freshwater body surrounded by marshes on the edge and scrubby forest embarking the sides. The agricultural land surrounding the lake provide ample amount of food for the birds while the hydrological ecosystem takes care of the others. The lake sanctuary covers an area of 7 square kilometres and is also known by the name of Thol Bird Sanctuary. (Source: Gujarat tourism website)
We identified roughly 50 different avian species, 42 of which were resident species and rest 8 were migratory. The migratory birds were generally waders but the resident birds were both terrestrial as well as waders. Some of the exclusive species observed were the Greater Flamingoes, Greater White Pelicans, Common Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Common Pochard etc,. Among the resident birds that captured everybody’s attention were Purple Swamp hen, Indian Roller, Green Bee-eater, Purple Sunbird in their complete mating plumage, Darters, Greater Coucal, Drongos with their forked tails, Beautiful painted Storks, Cormorants, Grey and Purple Heron, and Ibises. We even saw beautifully knitted Baya Weavers nests. They were so intricate yet so neatly made; it really amazed us that how these cute little creatures can build up such magnificent structures. As the sun started to set over the horizon, we could hear the sounds of the birds roosting. Prominent among them were the calls of the Grey Patridges. Flocks of birds flying around in patterns, as if performing some kind of a dance in the air, was a sight that no one could ever forget.
Well in addition to the birds, the whole trip was a visual treat in itself. In spite of spending our time in one of the greenest parts of Ahmedabad, it was a welcome change to spend our time among greenery, and not the red brick walls. People with cameras were busy clicking pictures (with pin drop silence so as not to disturb any birds) while the others were busy posing. All in all it was a fun trip loaded with Nature, Birds, Serene Lake, beautiful country side, a bit for each of us.
– Sudeshna Dey and BK Priyanka (PGP1s)