The amazing wetlands of Bharatpur support a wide variety of wildlife. Birds, among them, being the most numerous. Come winter and the migration season, scores of birds throng to this place to enjoy the abundance of food, water and locations to breed. This place, then, turns into sheer magic.
The cold, foggy mornings, when the sun just refuses to come out till it is quite late in the morning, the ear soothing orchestra of the very busy flocks of water birds, the incessant squabbles of the highly territorial rose-ringed parakeets, the occasional howls of the wandering jackals, the whooshing-whirring sounds of the many cycle rickshaws ambling along, laden with people, make the Keoladeo National Park, an experience unlike any. The place is not just about the beautiful birds, but also about the mesmerising habitat they are a part of, a wonderful canvas of nature.
I felt that monochrome was probably an apt medium to bring out the many moods of the place. Here are a few of my attempts at that.
Landscape lined by trees and water, a wonderful habitat and home for a wide variety of birds.
Fog, a hint of light, a bird and a tiny canal – a typical cold, winter, morning.
Early winter morning dew drops collect and adorn the beautiful spider webs, giving a nice foreground for the tree branches covered in mist.
Jackals pop out here and there. They can be seen moving around mostly in the early mornings or late in the evenings. When they start to move, is when, they gather the members of their pack with their howling.
Calls of birds can be heard all over. A darter calls out from within the shade of the overhanging tree branches.
There is bevy of activity all over the place. A sense of utmost urgency is evident everywhere, as the birds having travelled great distances to arrive here, need to feed, breed, nest and get their young ones capable enough to fly, all within a span of few months. Even with all this, there exists a kind of calm, like as though things are taking their own time, chugging along, at their own pace. Time just seems to stand still. Here’s a Sarus crane, wading around peacefully, feeding in the marshes.
The place is all about stillness and patience. One can see egrets, pond herons, grey herons and purple herons standing absolutely still in the waters, waiting for their prey to wander close by. They have immense amount of patience and wait in the same place, maintaining the same posture, for a really long time.
Bharatpur can soothe any person’s mind. The cool, romantic and calm mood, with a lot of patience added in, rubs off on anyone who visits the place. Truly, any nature lover’s paradise.