A New Gajoldoba
It was late afternoon. My boatman Tapas greeted me with his usual shy smile and was prompt to suggest to me “Dada ajker dine asla”. What actually was he trying to mean was that – I picked up the wrong day for birding.
Maybe the day was wrong but I was high on hopes. We started to cruise through the shallow waters. We have cruised for about a kilometer, it was only River Lapwings. On other days by now Ruddy Shelducks and Pochards would have hijacked our thoughts especially if you are new to this place.
Maybe a large number of boats and chaotic ecstasy has chased the winter migrants to the far end of the Baikunthapur forest. Silently we moved towards the Baikunthapur forest. Staying too close to the forest is not a good idea. The last shades of the light are about to fade and the place is frequented by Elephants.
Our long wait finally came to an end. Pochards, Coots and Teals were wading in the waters. Pochards are largely co-operative and continue the natural behavior in the presence of humans unless the margin of safety is not crossed.
Best of the Day
I had a few good captures. Sometimes hard days give you the best of memories. As we were returning, we stationed the boat in mud silt and got engaged in casual conversation with Tapas. On the left was a dense growth of ‘hogla’ – common water grass. Something came out of the bush and I was quick enough to take out my binoculars. To my delight, it was a Purple Swamphen. My first sighting in Gajoldoba. I took a few shots. Low light, cluttered background, and missed focus made necessary damage to the image. Anyways I had a new entrant in the portfolio of birds of Gajoldoba.
Bird List: Red Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Coot, Ruddy Shelduck, and Purple Swamphen.