First Urban Nest at CKBS
The morning of November 10 began on a different note for a motley group of kids, young adults and kids-at-heart as they made their way to Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary in Narendrapur to experience Urban Nest, a bird-watching trip organised by WISH Foundation.
Keen to explore the world of our winged friends, the group followed field expert Sarbani Deb into the depth of the sanctuary, learning a myriad range of information about not just birds but the wonders of nature in general.
What struck them the most as soon as they stepped into the woods is how we have a forest amidst the urban concrete.
They started with learning to listen to bird calls, to identify which call belongs to which bird and where and how to spot them.
Drongos, bulbuls, parakeets, barbets, orioles, fantails, Asian koels, kingfishers, palm swifts, treepies, woodpeckers... they actually stopped counting after some time!
And not just birds, they spotted butterflies, wild mushrooms, spiders, centipedes, red ants, orchids, a thick undergrowth and of course the showstopper - a big and beautiful monitor lizard!
Gradually they started spotting the birds themselves, without the assistance of our pro-birder, and with each spotting the excitement increased manifold.
After almost two and a half hours, a tea-break was followed by a recap of what they learnt.
It was a pleasant surprise when DFO (divisional forest officer) Santosh Gubbi joined the group for the trip, with his nephews in tow.
Some more spotting and lots of fun later, it was time to say goodbye but not before a group photo-op and a feedback session.
What was the general response? It's fun, it's educational, it's an eye-opener and it's a must-visit if you are a Calcuttan or happen to be visiting the city.