How I became a Birder

How I became a Birder

ranjeethaBy: Adhwaya Padaki
Resident: Malhar Footprints Jan 1, 2022

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The wings of my journey

I have always had interest in birds. Big or small, they always tend to amaze me. I used to attend quite a few of the bird walks here previously. However, I never had the intention to learn about birds. One summer morning, I went to my neighbour Anupama Aunty’s house to have breakfast. We were talking about F1 cars and suddenly the topic changed to cameras. She told me that she had a camera that had a good zoom lens and that I use it for photographing birds.

She bought it downstairs and I soon got to work. I figured out the camera and set out to find a bird. Very soon enough, I found a small little bird and I clicked a picture of it. I showed it to aunty and she immediately told me that it is a Pale Billed Flowerpecker and told me a few details about it. Soon the topic changed to birds and we were chatting for quite some time until we planned to go birdwatching the next morning.

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I was so excited the next day that we found a bunch of parakeets, mynahs, the zitting cisticola, a bunch of baya weavers and the usual pigeons, doves, kites, sunbirds, bulbuls and many more. The next weekend too we went out and that time, we spotted a woodpecker! However, this was just the beginning! There were more birds spotted, I walked with groups, sometimes alone. This continued when I travelled to Mysore and Coorg. I go to lakes and sit under a tree whilst photographing them. In Coorg, I go trekking with my camera and capture them

A few lessons I learnt during Birdwatching

One thing I have learnt from birdwatching is patience and perseverance. When you are trying hard to observe a bird or photograph it, it is hard to get it in one shot. You have to analyse and think where the bird might go next. This comes with patience and experience. It takes a lot of time to develop and to get it right over a period of time. You need a lot of energy, time, determination and of course, the skill. I have faced these hardships many times and even today, when I pick my camera looking for these birds, I am not sure how tough or easy a task it could be.

Over the past one year, I made a lot of mistakes. For example, one day I went outside too early and sometimes too late. I forgot to charge my camera, I made the shot blurry or I scared the bird off and so on. Everyone makes mistakes and correcting them takes a lot of time and effort. Sometimes I couldn’t even go out due to homework or study and ironically, the same day someone spots a rare bird. This happens a lot when you are still learning how to photograph them. However, sometimes you may get really lucky and find a really restless bird sitting calmly or so. Some birds, however, are very shy and don’t tend to show up.

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Few Photos taken by Adhwaya

GoodEarth Malhar is a haven for nature enthusiasts – both young and old. Birds, butterflies and local fauna are abundant. All it takes is a little bit of curiosity and exuberance to discover and appreciate nature’s beauty. Malhar is graced with a number of bird-watchers and young Adhwaya is one amongst them.