Nature lovers in an interesting race

Sirkeer Malkoha captured in camera by Srinivas Mallela

Sirkeer Malkoha captured in camera by Srinivas Mallela

Birds of different feathers flock together, birders from varied fields take different directions but with the same passion. And, not surprisingly, an undeclared race is on!

It is a different race altogether where the best of birders from the City venture during the weekends to the neighbouring districts in search of the winged visitors and to freeze every minute detail of the birds in their cameras, with the ‘rankings’ changing every week depending on their 'findings'.

Interestingly, the top five from Telangana as of now, in terms of completed checklists, are Chitra Shanker (1050), Srinivas Mallela (908), Aasheesh Pittie (847), Sriram Reddy (742), Gowtham ( 644 ) as per the e-Bird website, which is deemed an the authority in this regard.

Just consider this, 56-year-old Chitra is an entomologist (study of insects) by profession working in Indian Institute of Rice Research (Rajendranagar), Srinivas is a chef, Sriram Reddy works with an international management and technology consultant firm.

For someone who started bird watching and photography in 2018, Srinivas in the last 40 months observed 370 species and is keen to keep the number increasing for obvious reasons.

Not many may be conscious of the gruelling schedules they have, often at the receiving end of the family members’ ire for not spending holidays at home!

“Never ever during my 900-plus field visits, during which I have recorded 350 species with photographic evidence and 69 with audio recordings, did I feel disinterested. In fact, every trip gives you a whiff of fresh air and redoubled enthusiasm to find more and more birds,” says 34-year-old Srinivas.

Some of the rare findings from this stable were the Speckled piculet at Gubbala Mangamma Thalli Temple (Bhadrachalam), Imperial eagle at Nizamabad and Srinivas owes everything in birding and photography to his mentor Bhaarat Vyas and to his fellow birders for always inspiring him to explore new frontiers.

For her part, Chitra, who is into birding since her childhood and a member of the e-Bird since 2013, says she has checklisted 179 species of birds in a lake on the ICAR itself. “I love to look at the habitat, behaviour besides trying to find out how they travel from such far off distances like Siberia to descend on the City,” she said.

“Numbers are not a priority. Yes, being at the top is some satisfaction but not the only thing, as I love studying these winged visitors and also getting involved in nature and conservation,” she said.

By all means, these gifted photographers portray the lesser known facets of birds and their behaviour and hope many more take it up as a passion.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 12:22:44 am |