Wednesday, November 21, 2012
I have so much to share including a birding day with 85+ species but I'll have to wait until I return. For now I am in my hotel room, polishing my talk for the Bombay Natural History Society, occassionally stopping to watch the three games of cricket being played across the street.
Posted by Becky at 5:24 AM
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Updating the blog has been a bit trickier than I imagined...and admittedly, I am busy taking everything in and spending time with my hosts in the evening rather than getting online. So please forgive my slowness in posting as well as the shortness of my posts. All of the stories of where we have been can be found on the GSE team blog as well, so I have focused on my birding and vocational visits here. Thank-you all for following and your interest and I can't wait to share so much more over the coming weeks and months.
Posted by Becky at 2:31 AM
|Our ride home from the orange grove.|
Posted by Becky at 2:27 AM
Probably the most difficult thing to handle when traveling with non-birders is the fact that you can’t stop the car for every species…this is particularly difficult when all of the species are new so you know you are not only missing birds that could be added to the list but birds that you might not find elsewhere. For example, bird-wise, no day was more difficult than on the trip to the Gandhi Ahram, Sewagram and the medical college in Sewangi. I know…you’re wondering how can I even think of birds when heading to see where Ghandi lived…but for those who know me, you also know I have a one track mind. In my defense, it was the first time we had been out of the city and so as we drove for an hour, zooming past the countryside, a combination of grassland and trees, it was hard not to yell “stop” at everything that kept cropping up on the wires. All that said, I did manage to hone in on a few new, and some already-seen but still enjoyed species including: a Common Hoopoe (its crest is pretty distinct), White-throated Kingfisher, Black Drongo and a Rollerbird. My biggest near miss was a species of snipe, with its distinctive body shape and long-bill.
However, on the flipside, one of the most exciting things is that my team members are starting to share my birding enthusiasm. Jean is getting very good at spotting birds, Alain has brought me picture of rapotrs to i.d. (it was a Black Kite), Kelly has taken numerous bird shots with her Nikon and Sarah is ever patient.
I knew our trip was going to be great, when I arrived at Harsh and Poonam’s house in the morning to find a Grey Hornbill in the trees around the house. Soon all five of us were packed in the car with Harsh and on a hour and a half long drive to Tadoba. Along the way, we made a stop at a roadside restaurant and shops…much like the Canadian truck stop but all outdoors…and we were met in the parking lot by a White Wagtail. Soon, filled with Samosas and pepsi we were back on the road to Tadoba. It wasn’t long before we were off the main highway and rolling through villages and along dirt roads (with Black-winged Kites along the wires).
|The GSE team and the Patrol Team (Harsh is in the middle in |
the beige shirt)
|Harsh explaining to Jean about the leopards that walk by |
Posted by Becky at 2:15 AM
|Poonam Dhawatey and I.|
As we sat for the morning and discussed TRACT and each of our countries conservation issues, we were surprised at the many similarities in our organization’s basic operations. Like Bird Studies Canada, much of TRACT’s funding is project-based, sought on a yearly basis to support specific conservation activities and projects. Also as in
, partnerships, between state and federal government, are important to advancing conservation efforts. On a personal note, it was wonderful to speak with two people who “spoke the same language” as me and I felt quite honoured to have been afforded the opportunity to spend time with Harsh and Poonam. Canada
As I left, Harsh provided me with several books, Mammals of India, Snakes of
…to prepare me for our group trip to Tadoba the next day. India
Posted by Becky at 2:14 AM
Sure to be one of the most memorable Halloween mornings of my trip was my second morning in
when Dr. Anil Pimpalure and Dr. Ravi Waikar took me out for an early morning of birding. Although we only had an hour, we saw 30 odd species, right in the heart of the city. We began at Nagpur where the first species encountered were the Little Grebe and Indian Pond Heron. Soon we spied a Pied Kingfisher, catching his morning breakfast. As we continued along we saw several other marsh and wading birds at the lake’s edge including a Bronze-winged Jacana, two Purple Swamphens and Red-wattled Lapwings. An Indian Robin then led us up a path, past a small house (where a White-throated Kingfisher was perched) where we encountered a beautiful Golden Oriole, and a Common Chiffchaff. Still near the lake, two Grey-breasted Prinias popped up in the scrub—tails cocked and chattering—much like Futula Lake North America’s Marsh Wren. Then, with only a half hour left we hopped in the car and went to a botanical garden associated with the agricultural college. There, in addition to several Green Bee-eaters, and we found a rarity that even my two companions were quite excited to see: a White-browed Bulbul. As we walked through the gardens, we met with several other birders, most of them university age and often carrying cameras with quite impressive telephoto lenses. This was also my first encounter with the Jungle Babbler, or the “seven sisters”, as they call them here as they often travel in groups of seven chattering along the way. Additional sightings included the Brahminy Starling, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Grey Wagtail, Shikra and Eurasian Collared Dove.
Posted by Becky at 2:11 AM