Long time ago probably in the autumn of 1996 at Pokhara, in the garden of Nepal guest house , a lady was holding a binocular looking towards the sky . I wondered why she was doing that and what could the reason be behind. I was amazed seeing her face glowing in excitement .I also saw a book beside her on the table. It was a bird book called “Bird of Nepal “by Fleming and Bangdel. I asked her to look the book. There were so many colorful pictures of different birds from Nepal. I could find some birds that I had seen in my child hood time, around hill and river side closed to my House.
The lady was Irma Hildenbrand from Germany who was working for UMN as professor In Patan nursing campus. I was going to guide her on trekking to Jomsom Muktinath for two weeks. During that trekking period I learnt how to use binocular for the first time. I wouldn’t know any significance or the importance of birds, nature and joy before that even I used to stay so close to rich nature and wildlife Chitawan national park. I was sincere and conscious about nature since child hood. That trek helped me to develop my interest and consciousness more deeply in nature and wild life; I tried to know birds and wild life. I found first time birder in my life. It is demanding, rewarding and fully in nature while we go through birding.
I kept doing bird watching by myself but it was not much of help to learn faster and properly. I could not even find a good bird book, which was a bit of bitter experience. I remember here while I tried to get book but it was shortage and so expensive. I had to pay 13000 thousands rupees for an old book. It is called “birds of Nepal “as same as Irma had used to use. I got very old and ruined book with lost pages with that price. That price was as my whole budget of ten days trekking at that time. Still that book is with me as souvenir. When I met Vimal Thana on a FAM trip trekking, I was impressed. He inspired me to join in Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN), where I wanted to join. Before I met him I didn’t know anybody or to contact or to me. He is my GURU of birding. So I would like to salute and thanks from this script line.
Most of the birds are in different named in different books. I remember the bird’s name from earlier book, “Birds of Nepal” by Fleming and Bangdel, which made many of my bird friends laugh at me. Latter I found that there are many changes in the names and most of people are using the updated version of bird book by Inskipp (Tim, Carol and Richard G).
Why do writers keep changing the name of birds that makes me difficult to switch a question arising in me, why writers want to change name so frequently? Is it because of making money by doing the book can be sold easily with the new name of bird It is not any deferent to me and to many other birders. This cannot change its (birds) beauty even they change their name.
Where ever I went for bird watching, I have enjoyed and enjoy a lot. For me, I feel that there is one unique and special place to see birds is a small forest of Bajrabarahi and another is Godavari-Phulchoki in Kathmandu valley. The places from outside Kathmandu valley are, Chitawan NP, Annapurna Conservation Area , Ganesh Himal, Sybrubensi, Dhading, Langtang region and Kyanjin Gumpa to Sundarijal. These places are easy accessible and more convenient at the same time, there are so many beautiful and diverse species of birds in the middle hill, lowland and mountain. I have heard that BCN is working and playing the role to find out areas of good habitat and various kinds of birds species and to conserve them by arranging some genuine and effective programs.
I join BCN’s Kathmandu bird watching regularly and also would like to request to arrange the birding outside the valley as well. That will also help to go to locals and ease for conservation work. I’m also involving with Friendsofbird (FOB) which is very inspiring to go bird hike every Saturday. FoB has been running since 2005 and has done many bird hike that I have participated. I have also participated in many programs of BCN and other wild life and nature conservation. I have heard that, there are many organizations for same prospective. I feel that there must be solidarity program in joint venture or collaboration between those organizations for conservation of birds and wildlife. Such a joint effort will help and effectively aware people for nature and wild life conservation and protecting the habitat of rare and endangered species like Vultures, Bengal Florican and many other species.
Beside this elementary, I’m so very curious on how to apply the appropriate awareness programs from stakeholder by taking local support benefiting bilaterally in sustainable way.
It was published in volume 3/4 9Asar to asauj) of year 13 Monal the magazine of BCN in nepali verson with some revision .