Birding at Karmali Lake, Goa

While looking for some wildlife and birding experience in Goa, we found out about the Karmali Moor. It’s a tiny lake/wetland next to the Karmali Station and is home to many resident waders and other water birds. Opposite the moor are paddy fields, so this whole area becomes a rather rich birding spot. We spotted Purple Moorhens, Cattle and Intermediate Egrets, Jacanas, Whistling Ducks, Little Cormorants, Golden Orioles, Coppersmith Barbets, some wagtails amongst others. And this, when we didn’t have much time.

The beaches of North Goa have something magical about them. But what I find more interesting in Goa, is the natural beauty and wildlife.
A Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) in Panaji, Goa. They feed on insects and fruit. They build neat nests in tree forks and lay 3–6 eggs. Their call is a screech like a jay, but the song is a beautiful fluting weela-wee-ooo or or-iii-ole, unmistakable once heard (from: Wikipedia).
A Purple Moorhen (Porphyrio martinicus)
An Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) in the paddy fields opposite Karmali Lake.
The lush green paddy fields support a number of bird and animal species.
A couple of Lesser Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna javanica). These birds are usually gregarious. They feed mainly on plants taken from the water as well as grains from cultivated rice apart from small fish, frogs and invertebrates such as molluscs and worms.
Paddy field workers carry on with their tasks, and so do the egrets and herons.
A Bronze-Winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus). They are polyandrous, and the females are larger and more brightly colored than their male counterparts. The females compete with each other for harems of males to incubate their clutches of eggs. Each female’s territory encompasses one to four males and their individual territories.
A Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger).
Hundreds of Lesser Whistling Ducks roost in the tiny Karmali Lake.

Every time we visit a place like this, I promise myself I would come back with more time. Hasn’t happened till now. I must resolve to make my promises come true this year. Goa truly has a lot to offer beyond busy beaches.

[box type=”success” width=”100%” ]Where is it: Just look around for Karmali Railway Station. The wetlands are right behind the station.

When to visit: Winters is the preferred time for birind, but since these birds at Karmali are mostly resident, good sightings can be had most of the year. Winter only makes it easier to spend longer hours.
Where to stay: Goa has plenty of stay options. We had stayed at the Fontainhas. [/box]

9 thoughts on “Birding at Karmali Lake, Goa”

  1. Wow…this is a rich blog, so delightful to see bird photography and details. Yes, I am not a bird watcher but traveled to Mysore, Kuranji Lake and at my farm house near Kerala seen so many birds and observed them that I don’t mind spotting birds. Generally its good, because the area you visit would be green and would have some wet land, so besides enjoying nature’s atmosphere we can also enjoy beholding, natures beautiful creatures. Travelling is fun. Do you know this year May at Orissa, Chatrapur there was baby turtle hatching season, I missed going for it!!, I reckon it would have been great being near the sea and seeing the babies off to the ocean.


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