Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur saw its students developing a new hobby, ‘Exploring the art of birding’ in the green hills of Udaipur, well known as the ‘Venice of the East’. The lake city offers rewarding bird watching opportunities which the students attempted to make full use of by organizing a birding trip on a fine Sunday morning.
The day started early at 6:30 am despite the winter chill, with everyone coming in jackets and monkey caps. The bird watching trail was set in the lush green area of IIM Udaipur Campus. The guide for day was Prof. Jagdeep Chhokar, an avid bird watcher. He was a Dean at IIMA and currently is a visiting faculty at IIM Udaipur. He has been a fan of Salim Ali books, famously known as the “Birdman of India”. Books written by him were carried on the way to gain insights. Other companions were a set of binoculars and cameras.
Students of IIM Udaipur who were passionate about nature walks and photography turned up to enjoy the bliss of bird watching. Winter is by far the best season for bird watching in Udaipur. Udaipur hosts more than 500 species of birds including the Grey Heron, Steppe Eagle, Painted Snipe and many more.
The group saw 14-15 species including Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus), Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer), Asian Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradise), Rufous Treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda), Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus), Indian Blue Robin (Luscinia brunnea), Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) and many more.
The lush green campus also supports a pond which gave an opportunity to observe water birds. “It was great to be a part of the group. The hardest part about bird watching is to spot the birds. You'll have birds all around you. You could hear them, you can see the trees move, but you won’t be able to spot them. You have to be patient, very patient,” said one of the students.
Prof. Chhokar helped students understand how to make the best of bird watching by giving them tips on the science of Ornithology. Another student who was thrilled by this experience said, "Professor Jagdeep Chhokar is the best man you can go bird watching with. He knew almost all the birds. He taught us everything from how to spot the birds, what to do and what not to do while bird watching. He knows a lot about birds. His knowledge in this domain is extra ordinary."
IRIS - The Photography Club of IIM Udaipur made sure none of these rare moments were missed and captured them for those who missed this opportunity. The day ended at 9:30 am with loads of photos and memories.
Photographs of the excursion can be viewed on the Facebook page of IRIS.