Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Birding at Purbasthali

Imagine that you are in a remote village of West Bengal to spend your winter holiday where words like “pollution”, “stress”, “ hectic life” are treated as trespassers, where your morning are covered with veils of mist, where thousands of migratory and local birds take the responsibility of playing the background music by continuous chirping. Would you then complain about the non-availability of amenities of a modern cosmopolitan city? I do have doubt..


Mystic morning at Purbasthali

Purbasthali is such a small village in the district of Burdwan near Katwa. The Ganges has changed her track here and the abandoned path is still there in the form of an ox bow lake, which is known as “Chai Ganga” to the local people.


Daily life in "Chari Ganga"

The shallow, still water of the lake helps in the enormous growth of aquatic plants which in turn serves as the source of plentiful food to the fish and aquatic birds. So during November-February you’ll find this “ Chari Ganga” decorated with multifarious wings of thousands of migratory birds like Northern Shoveller , Pintail, Gadwal, Red Crested Poachard, Common Coot, Lesser Whistling Teal and so on. Not only these winter guests, Purbasthali is permanent home of birds like Pond Heron, Red Wattled Lapwing, different types of snipes, Sand Pipers, Purple Heron, Gray Heron, Purple Moor Hen, Open Billed Stork, Kingfishers, Cormorants etc. A boat ride in the lake will take you to their colorful world. The water is so clear that you can see the riverbed.

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

Red Wattled Lapwing: Vanellus indicus (Hattiti Pakhi )


Red Crested Pochard (Netta rufina)



Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in flight



cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Though now a days it is a bit difficult to get very close to the bird. Fishing in the lake is one of the main professions of the people. They use a special type f net called “Chabi Jaal” for fishing. After installing this net they beat the water with such efficiency that the fishes are guided towards the net from their bushy shelter. But this turbulence also scares the bird. That’s why whenever you will try to have proximity they will fly away to land at a safer area. Picnics in the riverbanks and chaos thus generated have also caused in decreased in the number of these visitor birds.

Fishing with "Chabi Jaal"



Installation of Chabi Jaal


Driving the fishes towards the net

After the boat ride start to walk through the village paths. If you keep your eye busy, in the tree branches you’ll find Golden Oriole, Purple sunbird, Bee-eater, Magpie Robin, Babblers, Indian Tree Pie, Drongo, Crow Pheasant here and there. And if you are looking at the village huts to get an idea of village life of Bengal, you’ll get a chance to be acquainted with the cottage industry of Bengal. Yes, almost every family here is engaged in production of hand made Saree (famous Tant of Bengal),Gamcha(hand kitten thin towel). So there is chance to collect memento of the trip and some excellent gift for your dear one’s.



15 comments:

  1. Hey, fantastic blog. Nice work. Keep it up. :)

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  2. Good information with beautiful photographs.Thanks for sharing.

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  3. very nice pics and article.... awesome work sumit da

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  4. Excellent. Wonderful pictures complementing the information about the place...

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  5. Thank you Sumita di, Sudipta o Barunda

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  6. Dear Sumit most of the time I do feel that our natural life in Bengal is the only best beautiful place than any place in the universe.But it is impossible for me to get all the fragrances of an uniqe area.I always get to know about those attractive places through Books,Articles,Newspaper & as well as electronics media.This is only you who has given me such the pleasure to cherish the scenic beauty through your Lense.I not only appreciate but pray to the almighty to provide you with immense power & patience to let the world have a glance what in the "BANGLA" we have; with your splendid work!!!
    Excellent blog.........keep it up...never get fatigued...my good wishes always with you....

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  7. Thanx a lot Subrata for this sort of inspiring comment. I'll try my best

    Regards,
    Sumit

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  8. darun laglo go.....chalie jao ro dekhte chai

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  9. 'You & I Foundation Hooghly' has recognized the efforts of 'Kasthosali Banabith' to protect the birds by felicitating them with this years'(2009-2010) 'Sabuj Sathi' award.

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  10. Dear Sumit, What a good information to us those who like the mother nature. many many thanks. Indeed a very very good work..keep it up..best of luck

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  11. Is this two bedroom guesthouse you are talking about ..owned by the Zilla Parishad?

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Dear Achintya babu. Yes, I remember you very well. I talked a couple of times with you , over phone and I do remember that you arranged for our staying at Purbasthali. Pulak , (probably your nephew ) also helped me a lot. I must say he is an excellent cook and very cooperative.

    Sumit

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