Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary is a spectacular natural lake with shallow waters and muddy lagoons, dotted by 360 islets. It offers an ideal wintering ground for thousands of migratory birds. These birds travel tiring lengths from Central Asia, Europe and Siberia to escape from severe cold of harsh winter there. In addition to migratory birds, many resident as well as local migratory birds also visit this place. This lake and the wetlands around it were declared a bird sanctuary in April' 1969.
It is thrilling to canoe through such shallow water and come very close to the flocks of pelicans, large groups of flamingoes and coots and different types of ducks.
Migratory birds start arriving here in October and stay till April. Their population reaches its peak in mid winter.
There are 360 islets in the lake. Most of them lie exposed when the water level is low. The lake gets filled with water that drains from the adjoining Surendranagar and Ahmedabad districts in the monsoon. With this fresh water inflow, brackishness in the lake is reduced considerably.
The sheer number of birds that is encountered in this beautiful place leaves the bird-watchers spellbound. As you move towards the islets through the sedges and aquatic grass, you hear sudden fluttering of thousands of birds.
Both the flamingoes i.e. Lesser and Greater inhabit Nalsarovar. The former frequents the sanctuary during monsoon and post monsoon periods whereas the latter becomes abundant as the salinity increases after the monsoon.
A very significant conservation value of Nalsarovar lies in its large congregation of important birds such as Grey-lag geese, Open-bill stork, Glossy ibis, Coots, Cranes etc. It is also noteworthy that of the three species of pelicans in India, the two species viz. Rosy and Dalmatian pelicans are found here.