BIRDING TRAILS OF DHARAMSALA

Being a resident of Dharamsala I have spent about 18 years doing Birding around Dharamsala but I am still surprised, when I go on a bird walk around gives me a immense pleasure as a first timer to this region. The fragrance of flowers in the air, color changing leaves, Hide and seek of the clouds and smiling faces of my native villagers going for fodder to Jungle just  add on to my Bird walk.

Today was the 1st bird walk of the autumn of 2018 towards Guna Mata via Naddi Village crossing through Bhated River which is a snow-fed sourced from Bhim Ghasutri Glacier of Dhauladhar Mountain range, meanwhile I saw a Female Asian Koel sitting on a tree branch, hope she is quite relaxed after the massive Monsoon we had this year and I tried to show this bird with my binocular to a local lady passing by and she was smiling after observation. I told her that this is “KOYAL” bird in our local accent and explained about the melodious call Koooo Koooo this KOYAL makes in spring-summer also showed her my Bird Guide Book about “KOYAL” so she was quite surprised and said Haer Chidi ri bhi Kataban Bhundi Han means See There are books exist for Birds and today I realize about the knowledge sharing. Dates back when I was a little kid of 8-9 yrs old and One summer day while Mango Trees were flowering, my Grandmother said while listening to the call of KOYAL that Aai Gai KOYAL means KOYAL has arrived. So it was an inherited knowledge into the communities about the migration of the birds which has been shared with next generation in very passionate vocal manner, but such a lovely way to teach and share knowledge. Today I understand the meaning of Aai Gai KOYAL in modern term Bird Migration.

 

This is an amazingly rich habitat for Grey-winged Blackbird, Kalij Pheasant, Crested Serpent Eagle, Golden Eagle, Oriental Turtle Dove, Collared Owlet, White-capped Water Redstart, Brown Dipper etc.

Bird walk in October-November is a great opportunity to witness high altitude Birds at low-land area like Gamru, Indrunag, Dharamkot, Khaniyara, Banoi Forest Reserve because they are on altitudinal seasonal migration towards Lower Kangra Valley and adjoining areas which makes Dharamsala an Autumn Birding Destination.

While on a early morning birding, in these two months one should carry Light Jumper, Wing Cheater, Some food and a hot tea/coffee thermos will add value for the trip.

– ARVIND SHARMA.

DHARAMSALA

 

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