Just today, my brother and I had a pleasant surprise when we visited the Sultanpur Nationaal Park close to Gurgaon. The surprise came towards the latter half of our visit, on the second half, to be precise. I was leading the way and I had reached a path jutting into the lake when we heard a strange sound of perhaps a few really angry birds. We paused, wondering what could have made such a ruckus when lo and behold, a couple of Saras Cranes stepped out of their hiding places in the bushes and then they made a stately stroll towards the waters of the lake right in front of us. What was amazing was to see how synchronised their movements were. When one of them bent down to groom itself, the other mirrored it! It became clear that we had passed what had probably their nest on the ground, and they had made a noise to frighten us away.
Saras Cranes are monogamous and they stay together for good. These cranes are characterised by their large size reaching 1.8 metres in height. and eight kilos in weight. Saras cranes are found in Australia, and parts of Asia. Their numbers are dwindling in India and very few remain. These beautiful birds have a red patch on their heads reaching down to their necks. Their habitat is close to human settlements with abundant wastelands. They build their nests on an island of weeds and grass a few inches above the water level.
I could not, unfortunately, get very good photographs of these birds as I was shooting into the rising sun and the lighting was really bad!