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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Encounters with the Common Kingfisher

The Common Kingfisher is, in my opinion, anything but common! I see its cousin, the White Throated Kingfisher, almost all the time, at home, as well as on my travels, but it took me a trip to the Satpura National Park to see the Common Kingfisher for the very first time! And then again, we didnt see it in the sanctuary, but spotted it while waiting for a boat to take us there! 




The Common Kingfisher is also called the Eurasian Kingfisher, or a River Kingfisher. I only understood the significance of the name on my visit to the Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal when, once again, I saw the bird while waiting by the river for a boat!!! I wasn't able to click a decent photo  though, thanks to my loud fellow tourists, but seeing the bird once seemed to have turned the luck, for I saw it once again at the Baranawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, during my trip to Sirpur in Chhattisgarh. The first spotting was when Mridula and I were driving to the Tourist Resort in the sanctuary...



Later, at the resort, we spent a pleasant couple of hours sitting by the side of the river which flows past the property, watching the bird sit patiently on the fence, diving at just the right time to pluck out a fish from the water. Sitting idly by, we even wondered just how many fish it would need to eat, to fill its tiny belly! 



All these years, when people told me about all the times they had spotted the Common Kingfisher, I wondered why the bird eluded me. Now that I have had all these encounters with the bird, I can tell them my own stories too!!! 

Comments

  1. She looks beautiful. Sharing it with some avid birdwatchers in my family.

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  2. he looks great .. beautiful clicks
    and you said one of the hardest birds to photograph, very elusive

    Bikram's

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  3. Well, this is the bird that got me interested in bird-watching. I saw it fly by and went looking for Salim Alis' book; quite literally in that order!

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    Replies
    1. I didnt know that, Usha! i guess this was at home?

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