A few weekends back, I finally visited a lake that I have been wanting to for a while. Located off Sarjapur Road, Saul Kere is a medium sized lake that is still, thankfully, untouched by the blight of modern development. The natural landscape with abundant greenery on and around the lake is host to numerous species of birds. A checklist of birds I saw over the course of a couple of hours is below:
We went bird-watching to Kaikondrahalli Lake over the weekend. I usually go bird-watching in the mornings, but for a change, this was an evening outing. And it turned out richly rewarding, with two ‘lifers’ for me. Here is the complete list of bird spotted:
Today, the 12th of November, marks the birth anniversary of Dr. Salim Ali, arguably the most famous and influential ornithologist that India has produced. I owe my interest in bird-watching to Dr. Ali, as I am sure many other bird-watchers in India would, as well.
His pioneering ‘The Book of Indian Birds‘ was possibly the first book on Indian birds that I read (multiple times). In fact, I still have a copy of this book (the thirteenth edition) that serves as my primary reference book on Indian birds.
I then read his autobiography, ‘The Fall of a Sparrow‘, which I found quite fascinating as a young boy. This led me to the Bombay Natural History Society, of which he was a key member and helped raise funds for its survival. I am now a life member of this esteemed organisation.
Dr. Salim Ali died in 1987, and if memory serves me right, this made the front page of The Times of India the next day. I still remember reading his obituary in the newspaper.
For people who are not familiar with the life and work of this renowned ornithologist, this article in the Deccan Herald can serve as a good introduction.
We went to Kaikondrahalli Lake the previous weekend for a morning walk. It also gave me the opportunity to do some bird-watching. It is now the season when migratory birds arrive to this part of the world. Though I did not observe too many ‘migrants’ this time around, by the end of the walk the list was a fairly decent 31 species. Here’s the list:
I have been bird-watching for over 3 decades now. It’s one of my favourite hobbies, though I have not been able to spend as much time on it these days as I would have liked to.
India is one of the most bio-diverse countries on Earth, with a diverse range of habitat ranging from dry deserts, high mountains, to tropical rain-forests and a long coastline. And this diversity extends to the species of birds found in India as well. With over 1,200 species of birds, India ranks 9th in the list of countries by number of bird species. About 12% of the total bird species on earth can be found in India. And my guess is that I must have seen about 20 %- 22% of all the bird species in India.
Bird-watching is a very easy hobby to get into. All it needs is a good sense of observation, sight and sound. A pair of binoculars would be helpful, but not absolutely essential (to get started). But one resource that I would advise is to have a book handy to identify the birds that you see.
There are a few good birds available. One of the most commonly referred to birds for beginners is Dr. Salim Ali’s “The Book of Indian Birds“. This is the book that sparked my interest in birds and I would strongly recommend it for anyone interested in Indian birds.