There are many things, I believe, that we did not do, when we were kids. And that wasn’t because we had any problem, or there was a lack of resources. But simply because we were unaware that such things could be done. I have been introduced to many such activities, by my daughter, much later in life. One such activity is- Bird Watching.
A few years ago, she attended a four day camp for bird watching. She came back bursting with enthusiasm and with a lot of information related to birds. She had been taught to identify birds by their plumage, their calls or any other characteristic feature. As she rattled off her newly acquired knowledge, some of her enthusiasm rubbed off on me. I started looking out for birds and along with my daughter, I have also learnt to identify a few species. In fact, now whenever we go to any place for vacations, we are on the lookout for the avian species found in the region. We ask the local people their names and then try and identify them from a little bird book that we carry with us on all such outings. I can assure you, we look really funny, craning our necks up as we walk down the road, trying to spot that elusive bird and at the same time to avoid bumping into anyone.
And we are lucky that we have not one but two bird sanctuaries within a distance of 70kms from the city. These are two really big lakes and during winters the migratory birds arrive here from far off lands to nest. The one nearer to the city is the Thol Bird Sanctuary and the other one is the Nal-Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. We had been visiting Thol for the last couple of years so this year decided to check out Nal-Sarovar. So last Sunday armed with our cameras, caps, sunglasses, some refreshments we took off early and I mean, really early, in the morning to watch the birds.
We also spotted Grey Heron, Ibis,Brahminy Shelducks, Comb Ducks, Stilts, Lapwings, Common Iora, Minivets,etc. but couldn’t capture them on camera.
The morning sunrise series and the birds’ pictures have all been taken by my daughter. Seeing her enthusiasm for bird-watching we’d brought a zoom lens for her DSLR camera last year and she has made good use of it. The rest, that is, the sunrise on the lake, the gulls, the little boys, were taken by me by my small automatic Nikkon camera.
Well, pictures taken or not, its beautiful to watch these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. When they taken flight in flocks, you can only marvel at their beauty. It was a morning well spent.