Winters are here.
And specially after today, as its the winter solstice – shortest day of the year, an appropriate statement to make than over felt-and-said;)
My weekend trips to sultanpur have become more yielding, as the migratory birds have set in making the bird sanctuary at lot alive and happy again.
Migratory birds bring a new zeal, which every bird enthusiast visiting winter birding sites may agree with. They come in flocks, they stay upclose, and they share their space and food with different species that makes it yet more spectacular to watch.
Its fun to see an ibis fly pass a sarus crane, or a black drongo lay back on Nilgai as it grazes past the swamp. Or a moorhen pass by Eurasian coots, or a northern pintail rest beside a purple heron, or a black drongo yelling behind a great cormorant.
These were only a handful of my observations made.
Different birder may have different experiences. Some lucky ones may get to see ducks cosily lying next to each as the cold winds set-in; yet some other lucky ones may get to see the fights between different species as they close upon their common prey.
In winters, a birder not only gets to see new visiting species, but also the chemistry between them and with local resident birds. Such social interaction, their calls and their behaviour is far unique and can only be experienced on a personal level while birding.
If you haven’t yet, I may strongly recommend to find and visit the nearest lake to your home town. Also carry a simple pair of binoculars, as they can be of great aid.
Do not worry, if you do not know the name of the bird you watched. When birding, you may emphasis on listing your observations, such as – Legs of the bird, the beak, the colour on breast, on forehead, near eyes, wings and tail. You may try Wikipedia to familiarize with species body shape, and different beaks and legs.
Always carry a small notepad and a pencil to note your observations.
With the help of sketchpad, you may use google later to browse through the local bird list and find a match. Apart from google, its always good to invest in a good birding book. Find from the online store reviews, which book has best documented collections of your local country birds.
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Thank you for your time.