Bird Watching is a recreational activity developed over time with lot of effort and understanding. Observation is like the baby’s first step in this vast field of study about birds. Listening, observing, visualizing, pondering, waiting patiently, analyzing movements and trails are some of the qualities that bird watching demands. Ornithologists are people who study birds and their movements. It is not a cup of tea that you can finish within minutes. The work of an ornithologist is like making a spongy and creamy cake, which has to be tasty from all sides. There is no scope for any impatience or mistake as the birds will then fly away from your sight. It is important to understand the ecological aspects and instincts of the birds while specializing in bird watching practically.
It also involves listing down the best places where you will find your cake with ease and time to observe more. According to scientists some of the top places in Karnataka where bird watching is a treat include Ramanagara, Hampi, Nandi Hills, Dandeli, Kodachadri, Hadinaru and Bidar. Seeing the birds flying high up in the sky, arising hope in our minds is a view we all love to behold right! Each of this place will never give you a hint of monotony or boredom. A chaos which will be pleasant to the ears will be in store at each of these bird watching retreats. There are picturesque landscapes and vast lakes that bring in birds of each variety local to its climate in these locations. They flock along with their families and relatives as if going on a summer vacation in a typical Indian railway journey. The thumb rule of bird watching is always that you should do it in the wee hours of the morning or when the day begins to tweak shades of navy blue in the sky as the flock of birds return to their abode.
Kodachadri is one such destination and a bird watcher’s retreat. It is situated close to Udupi district and 30km from Kollur, Mookambika Temple. Teak plantations and deciduous trees form a green avifauna and make us wonder at the miracle of nature. Nature camping is an enjoyed pastime in these areas on the way to the peak of Kodachadri inside the Mookambika National Sanctuary. There are some medicinal plants in these areas which make the Botany students and the Ayurveda vaidyas come here for their primary research about plants. Such avifauna attracts birds of different species because oxygen and food is available in abundance. From some ardent searches and talks with like-minded souls the following birds will be easily seen during the migration season and early hours of the day, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Mountain imperial pigeon, White bellied treepie, Pompadour green pigeon, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Great Indian Hornbill, Black headed oriole, Malabar Trogon, White-bellied treepie, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Scarlet minivet, Painted bush Quail, Racket-tailed drongo, Black-naped Monarch and others are among the few popular citizens of this region. To know more about these species it is naturally important to have a meaningful purpose to visit these places, about the body structures of these birds, the kind of habitat they like to breed in etc. It’s a learning process after all depending on the water bodies, timings and habitat where you habituate yourself to the surroundings.
It is also necessary to own a good set of binoculars and enhance your bird identification skills. Kodachadri will provide the perfect foothold and base for this activity, as it is not much crowded, the trek routes are defined, you have resting points to test your observation patiently and at the same time, Hidlumane Falls provides a perfect backdrop for making abode to the birds as it is near a water body. Birds will make nests around evergreen and basic instincts of nature to feed their young. Making notes and scribbling the identification marks is very good sign of a bird watcher or an ornithologist. So gear up and pack your trekking gears to Kodachadri to experience the best of nature and the thrill of bird watching with Nature Walkers, the ultimate trekking guide for your treks to Kodachadri. Nature Walkers has a range of treks in the Western Ghats and Karnataka region, Kodachadri is one of the premium destinations due to its popularity and so much activity to do. Develop multiple hobbies at a time with like-minded people, wherein you can relish in the tranquillity of nature on a green route and enjoy the avifauna around. What’s more the treks also include delicious butter milk breaks and lunch spots that serve home-made food, where you can relax and ponder over your bird watching activity too. Carry the best binoculars to spot the right one at the right time. Each group is designated to stay together and work together making team work possible. Share your notes and pictures with other group members and spread the knowledge that you observe or possess in practicality with your friends on the trek. Also remember to eat local and be eco-friendly. The birds are our friends and it does not harm to make the world a little more cleaner, a little more happier and a better place to live in for our sweet friends too.
Chirp Along Your Way to Kodachadri and experience the thrill of a trek and the satisfaction of seeing your favourite birdie friend.
Rucha Sudhir Khot