I think I have a type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that centers around creatures with feathers. OCD is defined as a
|Adv. Namassivayan Lakshmanan (Pic courtesy: Namassi in the pic)|
|Sometimes, the legs have to be given a bit of exercise while in pursuit!|
|Venugopalan Raghunathan & Gopal Prasad|
|Krishna Moorthy, the teacher with a willing pupil|
I had been wandering around the fringes of the Malampuzha reservoir for the last few years documenting the birdlife around and within it. Then, after linking up with the gentlemen above, I realize, I have only taken baby steps into the fascinating world of birds. Compared with the others of my birding group, I'm a novice. While they identify birds by calls and look only for confirmation; I have to look, listen and often refer the manual to be sure. Sure, I'm learning, but it is slow progress!
THE PALGHAT GAP
If you try Googling for birding sites in Kerala, the first one that always pops up is Thattekad & Salim Ali bird sanctuary. Arippa, Kadalundy & the Kole lands of Thrissur will also figure somewhere in the list. Palakkad or Palghat as it was called, rarely figures in any birder's radar except for Silent Valley NP and Parambikulam tiger reserve.
The Palghat gap is a 30 kilometer break in the Western Ghats, flanked on the north by the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and on the south by the Anaimalai hills. The northern part of the gap is a natural boundary between Kerala and Tamilnadu. At the edge of these slopes is the Malmapuzha reservoir, surrounded by forests that teem with wildlife that includes large and small mammals, and a vast variety of birds.
While I was happy to be looking for the birds on the forests bordering the reservoir and lying on either side of the roads, there was one gentleman; who, more than any other, opened up the possibility of exploring beyond the borders, Mr. Green Dinesh.
|Green Dinesh (Pic courtesy: Namassivayan Lakshmanan)|
|Green Dinesh with Gopal Prasad|
The rest of this series will attempt to give you a glimpse into this journey of discovery for a small team of ardent birders. Perhaps a day will come when this small area will see its name on the birding maps of the world, and wouldn't it be nice to be credited with the discovery!