Monday, September 10, 2012


Bharatpur is full of water this year. Good rain and water coming from all the available sources makes birds and birders happy this year. Unfortunately the bird nesting is not in that good numbers as I was expecting. First time I visited Bharatpur was in 1979,I was sent their  by my employer on a 2 week tour to learn more about birds. That year Painted Storks were breeding on every available tree. Trees around Shanti Kutir and Forest Lodge were full of them. Now one has to walk almost up to the last end of the straight road to reach nesting site, just before the temple junction. 
I was disappointed with the weather. I reached Bharatpur on a sunny afternoon and got up next morning to a gloomy-cloudy day. Wet weather put all the butterflies away. There was hardly any photographable butterfly seen during my two days visit. 
Other thing that disappointed me most was the growth of Parthenium hysterophus, a very invasive weed from latin america. It's leaves are like carrot so locally it's known as Gajar ghaas. White flowers equivalent to the size of floss flower makes it a truly nuisance for any kind of wildlife habitat. I wonder why this plant is
not uprooted in the beginning of monsoon. Now it will take minimum two years to remove it completely from the area. Other thing what I saw was other weeds growing in the area that was burnt last year. Fire needs to be used as a tool otherwise its side effects on grassland are always negative. Mr H S Panwar, ex Director Project Tiger wrote a complete guide book on grass burning when he was Director Kanha National Park. 
I hope my next visit in December will be better than previous few years.

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