The post on face book said “The Goa Bird Conservation Network is organising a birdwatching morning on the lovely island of Divar this Sunday, the 6th of July. The walk will begin at 7:00 am at the Ribandar-Divar ferry jetty, take the ferry across the river to Divar, and go along the road to the village through prime bird habitat. If it isn’t too rainy, expect to see lots of waders, skulkers, shorebirds and raptors. And if it is too rainy, we’ll just enjoy the rain! The walk is free and open to all. Bring along your cameras and binoculars if you have one, and rainwear if you don’t like getting wet. Also note that we may be squelching around in the fields along the road, so wear suitable footwear.”
It sounded good and I decided to go. Birds or rain (which we lack this season) I was OK with any. We (self and son - who was generous enough to give up his Sunday sleep for the sake of this walk) arrived at the jetty at seven on the dot and found most of the group already collected there.
It was a very pleasant, though cloudy morning with the sun vainly trying to break through the clouds. The river made a pretty picture from the jetty.
The ferry blew its horn and the walk, rather the float began. It was time to exchange pleasantries.
The Gynaecology department of the old medical college building looked nice and peaceful from the ferry. With the wards overlooking the soothing Mandovi, many a peaceful mother might have given birth to a contented baby here.
Soon after, we were walking along the road to Diwar and had identified some Munias and Ashy prinias (which were too fast and small for my camera) when we got the first photographable bird, the Cormorant in the typical position of drying its wings. Yes, the black spot you see at the center of the greenery is the cormorant. It did look like a bird when viewed through the binocular.
The walk continued with the enthusiastic participants exchanging information and trying to spot more.
The next one to be spotted was the lonely looking Adjutant stork perching on a bare branch (right hand upper corner in the picture) half a kilometer away and then the black headed ibis (white spots in the picture), three of them, on the ground below. I hope that your eyes are better than my camera and that you do not need me to direct your sight to them.
Some birds which were flying around were identified as the Yellow bittern, Night heron, Common Kingfisher, Egrets, Lapwing, Bulbul, Brahminikite and so on, all of which looked similar to me but for their size. Like the aircrafts observed from the ground. And then someone pointed to this bird which looked like a real bird to my eyes without the aid of the binocular and which, my camera also agrees looks like a bird. That is the Baya weavever. (in the middle - if you are worse than me)
We walked merrily in the pleasant weather, pleasant surroundings and the much pleasant company. I would have loved the walk just because of the road - forget the bird and the rain.
And like all good things in life the walk came to an end near the culvert where some local people were involved in a much more useful hobby of angling for fish for the Sunday special.
We walked back to the ferry and the group posed for a picture in the ferry and for a fuller group on the jetty.
Then it was back to my daily grind of cavities, fillings and RCTs - unlike the fortunate others, who could just go back, lie down and ruminate on the enjoyable bird walk, I work half a day on Sundays.