Birding: One of the relaxing and most joyful hobby- Some of my personal experiences

Hi Friends, I would like to share an experience from where I was obsessed towards the hobby for bird watching. Hope you will enjoy it…….

Alok, are u ready for Ambazari tour tomorrow? There was a call on evening 6.30 pm on Dt. 13.11.2014 from our group leader Mr. Ajay regarding bird census programme at Ambazari lake, organized by Bombay Natural History Society. I replied, I will call you after 10 min Sir and inform you. Actually the programme was scheduled on a Saturday and as it’s a holiday, I had no mood to get up so early at 5.00 am. Infact, I didn’t have much idea about birding, only I was passionate about natural scenic photography through my Canon point and shoot camera. However, the programme was very famous and many well known birders were participating. So, I thought let me explore and join the team. If it goes boring I will pack up and return soon.   I borrowed DSLR from a friend and joined the team of 3 other people, out of which two of them were well experienced in birding and spent about 8 years in this field.

From Left to Right: Mr. Indraneel Bhattacharya, myself and Mr. Ajay Agrawal at Ambazari Lake, Nagpur

Next day morning we started journey and reached to Lake Site at around 7 .00 am, the perfect time for birding as well as for photography. On the first sight I found a pair of ruddy shell duck and out of my reflex action, shouted Wohhhhhh!!!!.

Pair of Ruddy Shell ducks at Ambazari Lake, Nagpur

Under the guidance of senior birders we walked on the periphery of the lake about 8 kms and recorded around 80 bird species like green bee eater, cormorant, yellow wetted lapping, little ringed plover, black kite etc. Believe me that day was awesome and one of the most remembered time of my life. Besides this I found new friends and gained a lot of information on bird behavior too. In short, I realized that birding is far away from just bird watching.

Myself during Bird Census Programme at Nagpur

Then, I started birding at my own greenish laboratory campus and continued regular monitoring of birds and got familiar with nomenclature and behavior of many birds. Under “Count birds at your backyard” programme, we identified nearly 60 species of birds at our campus along with my birder friends Dr. Dhyani and Mr. Nihal.

I am really obsessed with birding very positively. The obsession takes me the places, where others don’t dare to go. The journey of birding started with the help of my two cameras and a binocular. Sometimes the excitements of bird watching don’t let me sleep and I plan, what should be the next place to visit. Slowly the perceptions changed and I planned more visits to nearby Lakes and forests for birding on holidays wait for a long holiday, so that I can spend a good time at core area of nearby Melghat tiger reserve or Tadoba- Andhari Tiger reserves. I have visited five times to Melghat tiger reserves, but every journey gives me a new pleasure and experiences.

Myself with my friends at the Melghat Tiger Reserve

Finally I would like to say that, birding also fulfils another instinct i.e. the quest of knowledge. It’s not only about the name of the birds, but also observing their behavior and moreover how it’s related to the nature. It’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy the unique inexpressible pleasure.

Enjoy nature….Happy Birding…

Author: Mr. Alok Meher,

Senior Research Fellow

Environmental Materials Division

CSIR- National Environmental Engineering Research Institute

(CSIR-NEERI), Nagpur, Maharashtra, India 440020

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