Featured

Bird of the day!

Cattle Egret

This bird is a cosmopolitan species with the scientific name of Bubulcus ibis, and knowns as Bastu bakula वस्तु बकुल्ला in Nepal.

Cattle Egret in breeding plumage

They can be seen easily, should so far. Love to see them flying in the morning to their feeding ground in the farmland or open grounds and flying back to their roasting place in the evening till dusk. When I am out birding or simply somewhere, it is always good to see them around, as that make me fell there are other birds around.

Non-breeding Cattle Egret

They are, as all birds, an important part of the ecosystem and are a good friends of cattle and farmers, and seen with and around the cattle, picking up the insects and other parasites.

Cattle Egret -nesting time

Cattle Egret is white in non-breeding season and has beautiful orange to reddish plumage during the breeding season for a short period of time.

Juvenile Cattle Egret

Happy birding!

Featured

Cuckoo, cuckoo

Common or also called Eurasian Cuckoo, that visit us in summer is known as a very active and vocal birds. They inhabits, during their stay, the farmlands, green patches of forest in Urban, Suburban and forest around. They are easily recognisable with their plumage of dark, grey, blue with black and white barring on the breast as adult male and female blue, reddish and also has strong and beautiful call Cuckoo, cuckoo, some time repetitive. As they lay eggs of other birds, they are seen chased by many other species of birds like Drongos and Crow.

On my recent escape of lockdown, nearby, I managed to get up close of it and other birds, that was wonderful.

Common Cuckoo
Red-rumped Swallow

Paper Plants

Just sharing these beautiful sweetly fragrance flowering plants that is locally known as Lokta – Nepali paper plants. The paper made from these plants are durable and mainly used in Govt/official purpose apart from the other personal use locally and by the tourists.

Edgeworthia gardneri
Daphne bholua
Daphne bholua

Maybe you want to use too!

Escape to nature

Yesterday afternoon I managed to get out in spite of strict regulation, of this second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. Seems like this pandemic is going to be around for some, and we have to learn to live with it. After all human does cause problems and also has power to find a way out or a solution eventually. After all human is the superior being on this planet as we think so far. Are we?

Anyway was great feeling of being out there in nature. I only had to take the inside road to get this place, not far from where I am. It only took ten-minute drive to get there on my bike. And was a nice walk to the edge of the national park, lucky to have the nature park nearby, though not allowed to get in there now. Just being close and outside was refreshing and nice.

Reason, just wanted to get out to nature and see if I can find this bird- Spiny Babbler, the endemic bird, that I have been told is nesting there now. Did not see the bird but heard its beautiful song, that was nice and made by evening. Did see many other birds, though not as many as that are seen in the morning time. Heard many birds, among which the dominant and loud calls were from Asian Koel and Great Barbet. We will not be hearing much after some time when monsoon starts soon. There were many Black/Black-eared Kite nesting on the pine trees, only raptor that I saw. The Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher with its melodious song was heard and seen just when I was returning as it was already getting dusk.

It was nice to be out there in the open and fresh are, with greenery around. That was my dose of nature, that I managed to get after more than a month of staying inside. Hope soon, I will be able to join some friends and go to nature, to the birds!

Still need to be careful and stay safe!

‘Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.’

Happy World Environment, 2021

Today, on June 5th amidst COVID-19 pandemic, the world is celebrating the day for the nature and environment. To save or conserve the environment is extremely important for the wellbeing of this planet earth, that directly links the wellbeing of human and all other biodiversity of this planet.

Forest environment

It is a positive step and every little step can bring the positive outcome on the environment, on the nature, saving and giving the chance for another day for the all the biodiversity.

Wetlands for birds and biodiversity and human

Human has been creating so much of negative impact with the destructive activities. However, there is still time for the one that is still around. So let’s celebrate this great day, to make a difference!

Langtang 7200 m

Parakeets

Here’s the picture of these beautiful green birds that, we can see in the country. These birds are very attractive due to their green colours plumage. They are very social and active birds, that can not be mistaken when they are around. Alexandrine Parakeet is the largest Parakeet and common, but some species are also getting very rare to see and find. Love them to around.

Pictures not that great and sharing the pictures of only those I managed to get.

Happy World Parrot Day 2021!

Alexandrine Parakeet
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Slaty-headed Parakeet
Plum-headed Parakeet
Red-breasted Parakeet

8848.86 m Mountain

The highest mountain, popularly known as the Everest, is actually called सगरमाथा in Nepal (Sagarmatha). Later it was named as the Mount Everest after, Sir George Everest. Chomolungma is  known to Sherpas and Tibetan call it, Qomolangma. There were several other names, used in the west before, such as Third Pole, Peak XV and Peak B.

This 8848 m high peak has new elevation now after a recent survey made by Nepal and China jointly in 2020, and it is 8,848.86 m (29,031.7 ft) now.

The history of mountaineering and Everest climbing is long and many expeditions were undertaken. It was on May 29, 1953 AD, when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa stood on the top of this mountain as the first successful summiters. To honour them and in their memory 29 May is celebrated as the- “International Everest Day”.

Happy International Everest Day 2021!

Everest from Pike Peak
Everest from Gokyo Ri
Everest from Kalapathar
Everest from Renjo pass
Everest from the plan

Sagarmatha Diwas 2021!

Buddha Jayanti

Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity– Buddha

On this occasion of 2565 Buddha Jayanti celebration, we hope the peace and harmony among the people will remain and work together to ward off the difficulties that, human facing now.

Happy Buddha Jayanti 2021!

Seeing all as one
Prayer flags
Buddhist stupa- Bouddha, in Kathmandu

Summer visitors- the home coming!

The advent of spring and summer start seeing these summer visitors, our beautiful winged avian friends. We are so glad to welcome them to their breeding ground. The countryside, forest, creeks, forest edges and wherever they can find a place to be around — that area becomes so lively and musical with their activities such as feeding, singing, or calling mates. The whole area resonates with their beautiful song and calls. And their appearance is so mesmerizing with the vividly and beautiful coloured plumage. Oh, it’s so amazing, that I love and enjoy so much that makes me feel like I am getting healed and in a different world. Try it, it’s just great!

Golden Oriole

Golden Oriole/Indian Golden Oriole

One of the stunning bird, that usually arrives in late March to early April. Once, subspecies of Eurasian Golden Oriole but now separated as full species- Golden Oriole or Indian Golden Oriole. Once I hear them, usually find them easily in the farmland and forest area.

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

One of the early arriving bird and can be heard and seen easily. They are mostly green with bright chestnut coloured head and nape area. Enjoy them seeing, catching the bees and wasps and returning to the almost same area.

Asian Paradise Flycatcher (male)

You can not miss this bird, once you see it. They are dimorphic birds and in Kathmandu or in whole country we get the one that is pure white (male) with crested black head and blue eye ring. And female is rufous with black head and short tail. They are an amazing bird. No water it is called paradise flycatcher.

Asian Paradise Flycatcher (female)

Himalayan Paradise Flycatcher

Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher

Blue Throated Blue Flycatcher

Here’s this sparrow size but beautiful coloured bird and has a beautiful song. This is Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher, now here nesting in the bushes of forest or in urban areas. (the picture is not what I could use)

Eurasian Cuckoo

Eurasian/Common Cuckoo

I do not like the world common as we are loosing birds (and other biodiversity) fast due to our own activities. This bird, not so colourful as above birds, but it’s beautiful with a beautiful song cuckoo – cuckoo. They are brood parasite, and lays eggs to other species of birds. They are one of puzzle for scientist to how the newly hatched Cuckoo follows back their parents to their wintering ground. And this is with most of the birds that we still need to know and understand a lot about them!

Asian Koel

This bird could easily be mistaken as one of crow as its pure black but if we look it carefully, it’s easy to make it out. The large bill is greenish and red eye. Female is brownish with white spots or streaks. They are migratory bird but now since few years we are seeing them wintering here too.

Asian Koel

These are some of the migratory birds that we see here, among some 40 species of birds that are summer migrants in the country.

As all the birds and biodiversity is facing a huge problem of their survival, every year these birds that breeds here are finding extremely difficult to be back in same area or forest patch as that is taken by human when they are here next time. The fast urbanization is a huge problem as eventually they have to move out or can not survive, and we are losing them, unfortunately.

Pandemic Hike

Finally, after 14 months of stagnant life, I managed to get out of Kathmandu, on a real trip  to Gurja Himal area. This trip (with drive and walk) happened to Dhaulasiri province of Myagdi district in West Nepal. It was a new area for me even though it is not far from very popular city of Pokhara and Annapurna Conservation area- one of the most popular trekking areas in Nepal. The mountain Dhaulasiri or popularly known as Dhaulagiri- the 7th highest mountain of the world in Nepal with many other mountains such as Gurja (7193 m) and Churen (7385 m) is a great destination for mountains climbing and adventure trekking and natural excursion tours.

7th highest mountain peak- Dhaulasiri (Dhaulagiri)

It was on April 6th, when I was invited to join a team of experts who were writing the tourism master plan of this area. I was assigned to collect the data of birds and biodiversity of this area that we visited (7 gaopalika/wards). I was very happy to have to list the birds of this area mainly with other wildlife, just what I wanted. The time was almost okay with everything open and COVID-19 bit down at this time. Boarding on tourist bus to Pokhara, with 7 hours journey and overnight in Pokhara, we arrived to Muna next day in Dhaulasiri province. It took another 7 hours journey with good road and dirt road travel by jeep.  Muna was the centre point of this area to go around.

Muna village

The real journey on foot, that I was looking forward starts from Mahtala, near Muna. Anyway after visiting and meeting with locals, we started walking from Mahtala on mid-day even though it was a very short walk today. Leaving Mahtala, crossed the Myagdi river on a small bridge, we made a short climb on the other side of the hill to descend to cross the river on a suspension bridge. Walking on the new dirt road (good for the people and not so good for the tourism), we climbed back to arrive a small village of Lumsung, where we had a good meeting with locals and stayed checked in a Homestay nearby. The village also had a hospital, Govt office and good school building though was very next to a huge landslide site. We also saw the camping ground in the middle of the village, where locals also were seen practising archery- the famous sports of this area by the Magar and Chhantyal communities). With a some free time we managed to go out to the water and I managed to see and so some beautiful birds such as Grey Bushchat, Crested Bunting, Verditer Flycatcher, Streaked Laughingthrush, Long-tailed Minivet and an important bird Long-billed Thrush that I recorded in the morning next day, when I was out early by myself. It was a good place to see birds for sure!

on the trail…

Next morning leaving Lumsung, we climbed to a large village of Lulang, where we also found a good hotel of this area, should say, but we continued as today, a long day we were told. After the village, we enter the forest trail on the side, was beautiful forest of mixed vegetation with Magnolia and Rhododendron bloom. Continuing on the trail to the hillside, we passed a few lovely creeks and climbed through the dominant Rhododendron forest with Daphne flower on the forest bed. It was a bit tiring as our supply of water was running out and felt empty on the system. Our lunch place, luckily was on the top of these hills, looking not far. And pushing further, we arrived at Deorali (3232 m) with one house that was almost ready for us. What a relief to have arrived there and getting the soft drinks that not so keen most of the time but the thirst and the hunger made it feel so great. I was also thinking in a corner of my mind, the bottle of chill beer…haha, haha) The warm lunch Dal bhat (rice, lentil and vegetable curry with pickles)  was wonderful- so we got power of Dal bhat, so they say Dal Bhat power 24 hours in Nepal.

Rhododendron

So the most challenging and day one of walking with long day. After lunch, we made a steep descent down to a goth of one house, where we had tea and traverse before climbing down to the suspension bridge. It was along this path I enjoyed watching and hearing many birds, among which Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird was the highlight. Before crossing the river to other side we could see very blurry view of Gurja Himal. The pollution and the weather have not been so favourable on this trip. Anyway, we had to make another steep climb to the top, near Shiva temple and ranger post. It was already dark by the time we arrived here, and we were offered water at the post, that was nice. Thanks for the post. Still to get to the Gurja, we had to walk for another 30 minute in the dark. It was good to be there at the homestay, it was a nice place, and we took some 12 hours to get there.

Danphne sp.

Next day we explored the area and had a good meeting with the locals. It was a large village of predominantly Chhantyal community with other tribes. Gurja has stone mine and hence houses are all stone made though some changes are already seen with modern houses that was there. This mountain community is a wonderful people with great hospitality on this last village of the province before the Gurja mountain. This place seems a good connecting destination to the mountains peaks and to Dhorpatan and to Dolpa in the west Nepal.

With local kids

After having a wonderful stay and hospitality, we did bid adieu to Gurja. We started  back down to the river to make a steep climb up to Deorali and with another down all the way to Lumsung via Lulang. It was an achievement as we only took  some 10 hours to get back this time.

Dalbhat- the local food

Wow, that was a great experience of really walking or trekking I would say after some time!

After Lumsung, short walk to Mahtala, where we enjoyed the large waterfall (3 as we were told), but we saw only the main one, probably the largest waterfall of the area (90 m). The water wall was so pristine and pure and would make a great waterfall for Canyoning adventure here in this area. After enjoying a waterfall, we drove to Mudi, another village on the other side of Muna and then to Marang via Durbang. It was a great morning. I explore the area nearby the riverside and did bird watching, that was wonderful. This was the lowest place of all the visit (1200 m) where I recorded to record the illusive Pied Thrush and juvenile Brown Dipper with many other species of birds.

Pied Thrush
Red Admiral butterfly

After lunch, we did a steep climb up to the last place of on our list- Malkawang, with overnight and back to Marang to drive back to Beni and Pokhara finally on day 10th.

It was a great and memorable trip!

Pokhara Phewa Lake boating

Mother!

Ama, Mamu, Mom, Ammi, Mata and Mother and what do you say! This is a beautiful and holy word. What a nice and universal word that starts with letter M in most of the places of the world…

Its celebration of Mother’s Day in Nepal- Happy Mother’s Day!

Swanta village, Nepal