Thursday, 13 July 2017

New bird 2

A sighting of a Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis) near the riverbank of Maokhola in Gelephu on May 13 has brought the number of bird species in the country to 722.

The Graceful Prinia is found in lowlands in tall grasses and shrubs especially by the wetland. It is a resident breeder in northeast Africa and southern Asia.

The 11-centimetre long Prinia falls under Cisticolidae under Genus of Prinia and species of Prinia Gracilis. “It has a streak sandy grey-brown upper part, white under part and cross-barred tail.”

A freelance tour guide Tshulthrim and his friends spotted the bird. Ornithologist at the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE), Sherub confirmed it as a new record.  “As soon as I was back to Thimphu from Gelephu, I submitted a picture of the bird to Sherub and he confirmed it as a new species in the country,” Tshulthrim said.

Tshulthrim and his friends, who were conducting bird count that day as a part of Global Big Day of birds, saw the Graceful Prinia in a group of three at the same spot at Maokhola.

Tshulthrim along with his friend, Kelzang Dorji who works as an extension supervisor with livestock department, Chencho Wangdi, an accountant with the National Museum, and a tour guide, Karma, travelled to Gelephu from Thimphu for the bird count.

“We started at 3am for birding that day,” he said.

Global Big Day is observed for birding to submit the checklist of birds that are observed to the largest database of birds, eBird, based in Ithaca, New York, United States of America.

According to a teacher at Bajo Higher Secondary School in Wangduephodrang, Tshering Tobgay, who is a keen bird watcher, it is a single day event, uniting birdwatchers worldwide across political boundaries and language barriers, all brought together by shared passion for birds.

It is the second consecutive year Bhutan has celebrated the event of bird watching on Global Big Day. Organised by interested birders through the social forum, ‘Birds of Bhutan,’ in Facebook, it brought together 48 interested birders from diverse background including students.

“It is important for a country like Bhutan to participate in this event to show case the country’s rich diversity of birds,” Tshering Tobgay said. “It will not only help people around the world to understand the type of birds in Bhutan but also have immense benefit in branding Bhutan’s tourism.”

A total of 354 bird species were recorded in a daylong event in 10 dzongkhags. The Oriental Bird Club based in the UK, UWICER in Bumthang and interested individuals from Bhutan sponsored the prizes.

Two new species of birds, the Oriental pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) and Desert wheatear (Oenanthe deserti) were discovered in Wangduephodrang and Punakha respectively on April 25.

International experts estimate Bhutan to have about 770 bird species.

Yangchen C Rinzin, kuensel

Monday, 1 May 2017

New Bird.

Two new species of birds, the Oriental pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) and Desert wheatear (Oenanthe deserti) were discovered in Wangduephodrang and Punakha respectively on April 25.While a teacher from Bajo Higher Secondary School and a keen bird watcher, Tshering Tobgay spotted the Oriental pratincole on April 25, Jigme Dorji National Park senior forester, Lekey Wangdi spotted the Desert wheatear on the same day. The Oriental pratincole was found in the Punatshanchhu and the Desert wheatear was spotted at Khawajara in Samdingkha that morning.With the two additions reported less than a month after the discovery of the Godlweski’s bunting in March, Bhutan now has 721 bird species. In February, the Yellow-eyed babbler was recorded at the Royal Manas National Park.Lekey Wangdi who has an interest in high altitude birds said this is his first discovery. He said he did not know if the bird he spotted is a new species. He shared a photograph of his finding on the Birds of Bhutan Facebook page, where an ornithologist of Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation of Environment, Sherub and others confirmed the bird as a Desert wheatear.Birds of Bhutan is a popular Facebook page for Bhutanese bird watchers, where some prominent local and global ornithologists share information, videos, bird song records and photographs of birds.Tshering Tobgay who spotted the Oriental pratincole took to Facebook to express his excitement on the discovery. “I can’t enjoy more than this – sighting of this species in Bhutan,” Tshering Tobgay wrote. Both local and global ornithologists confirmed the bird in his photograph as the Oriental pratincole.Tshering Tobgay however expressed concerns over mining activities in the Punatshangchhu, which he claimed is a hotspot for water birds. “Almost all water birds found in the country are found here in Punatshangchhu,” he said.The critically endangered White-bellied heron and River Lapwing, which are categorised as vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature,are both found in the river. Other water birds roostingand feeding in the river include, the Mandarin duck, Mallard and Grey heron.Tshering Tobgay urged the need to regulate and reduce mining activities along the Punatshangchhu. “Sand quarries and other forms of environmental degradation can be detrimental for the water birds soit’s important to conserve and protect the river by reducing disturbances,” he said.Bhutanese bird enthusiasts are also planning to participate in the upcoming Global Big Day for the second time on May 4. Last year during their debut inthe Global Big Day, they recorded 165 bird species. Global Big Day is an international annual bird-watching event contested by bird watchers across the world on a single day.

Tempa Wandi, kuensel. April 29, 2017.

Sunday, 5 March 2017


all the means of reach, he abolished
and now in a room of only walls
he has chosen to be,
often soliloquizing
and it's a therapy he has found.

all it might be well with you, he hopes
also the change in his demeanor
he thinks, you will forgive.
to be together again by a fire
and share one's tale,
it's just only in months.
Soon he shall see you again,
until then, you be safe, sound and happy, he prays.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Little awakening at the ATM

I have always been told to think out of the box, be different, and be myself. I have been asked not to follow crowd. I have been asked to question the events that are unfolding in front of me, but like always I chose to remain in my comfort zone not paying any heed to whatsoever said. Of course all these advices had been in the back of my head buried somewhere in subconscious graveyard. But a small incident that occurred with me last week at an ATM really kept me sleepless for many days.

I am a very lethargic and introversive a combination which is deadlier than the venoms. So last week I was in the market with a friend of mine. I had to withdraw money from one of the ATMs of Punjab National Bank in that area and after strenuous search I found one with a long queue outside. I also stood in the queue and I noticed that there was actually another ATM installed there. So I asked the guy in front of mine if the other one was working and he said that it may not be working because there was no queue on it. I nodded and waited for a moment. Since there was no one behind me on the queue I walked to this ATM and viola! It was working! I went in and withdrew my money and walked out like a boss while people looked at me and started queuing outside this ATM.

That day I learned firsthand how I might have had missed opportunities in my life because I never questioned anything and always stood in queue everywhere. I always did what others were doing and I followed the herd. Later that night as I contemplated over what happened during the day, I realized that this is my call for change in life. I could no longer be a passive follower of societal norms and live a mediocre life. I need to start questioning about possibilities of ways of doing things and solving problem. I need to be on my toe tips and push myself forward.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

A crack in monotonous days

Only a couple of days have passed after I along with my roommate and few other friends gathered in chilly evening at Som’s room and discussed how mundane our days are passing. Going to college, coming back, cooking meals and retiring to bed was all that we were doing. Since it was in the midst of a long stretch of holidays, Som promptly suggested that we venture out on a trip that very night. Everyone agreed in excitement and planned the logistics. My roommate has a car and after arranging for two more bikes, eight of us ventured out at midnight to a place called Mussoori, which is 50 kms from the place of our stay. It’s a very popular hill-station which has been conferred with Queen of the Hills. The road to the hill top maneuvers through thick forest with numerous curves and bends.

I wore the toughest from my closet that can withstand the pre-wintery cold. We started the journey with me being in the car and others on the bikes and car equally with soulful songs played in the background to subside the hearts beating high on adrenaline. After having travelled through the city, I volunteered to ride one of the bikes, and I say this with immense happiness that it was the best ride of my life here in Dehradun. The cold wind slapped me with its icy hands as I maneuvered the bike through the curves and bends of the road. I felt elated and alive. How I wished the journey never ended but before I knew we had reached the hill top. We parked our vehicles and ascended to the peak of the hill on foot which was strenuous in the thin air. But we walked in the dense of the night taking photographs of ourselves in the light of street lamps. The little city of Mussoori perched on the hills was silent and tranquil with only street dogs giving out soft howls.
After half an hour or so of trekking uphill we reached the peak which locally is called as the Gun-hill point. The view from this point was splendidly picturesque that we couldn’t stop ourselves from taking photographs. The city below spread in the slope was illuminated by lights which looked as though the night sky adorned with twinkling stars had fallen on this hill to form a breathtaking picturesque as a treat and delight to our longing eyes. And in the far end, the city of Dehradun radiated itself in mystery; unfathomable to a busy man.

All the hard work of ascending to this point was to, at the break of the dawn, watch the sun rise. But we had ample of time before the sun rose so what followed was a photo session in myriad of pose and posture. Jokes were cracked and humorous one lined insults passed which prompted in hysterical laughs with no alien to hear but the cold air. After an hour long wait the sun finally rose spreading its virgin rays on the peaks of the silhouetted mountains. It rose from the mountain like a vast golden ball all by himself in the sky determined to retire in the west.

By this time the locals; particularly the early risers had filled the paths and roads: some jogged, while some walked their dogs and others were students going to school. The tea vendors were I street and after drinking a cup of hot tea each, we returned back; to live the same mundane and monotonous life.  

The Dawn

The clouds darkened
And the sky roared.
Lightening struck
And rain pattered, hard.
Wind gushed and leaves fell.
But in minutes it subsided
The rain, the darkness and my sleep.

The business-lady

I was attending Forest Business Management class one hot afternoon and the professor was talking about entrepreneurship. Since the class was right after lunch and it was hot and dry, most students were dozing off. Their eyes were burdened by sleepiness and I was no exception for I had almost dozed off while taking notes. So the professor clapped his hands loud and to arouse interest and diffuse out the sleepy air he ventured to tell us an amusing incident he encountered which could more or less could be said to of an entrepreneurial type.
So it goes out that in the midst of city of Mumbai, just outside a Hindu temple which is flooded by clamoring crowd of devotees, a cow stands in the shed of a papal tree. Now the devotees being Hindus who worship cows, they feed this cow in the pursuit of gaining spiritual merit. So the cow stands there the whole day while being fed by thousands of devotees and goes to sleep in the evening, happy and bellyful. Intelligent cow, right? But the interesting thing here is, it is very inconvenient for the devotees to carry grass and fodder to the temple just to feed this cow, so seeing a potential business opportunity a lady has opened a fodder shop. So devotees just buy fodder from this lady and feed the cow. Interesting right? Not yet!!!! The most interesting part is that this lady actually owns the cow and milks it every evening, earning money from everything that she does. This lady is putting all businessmen and entrepreneur to shame.
All that ensued was claps after the professor narrated this incident, but to this day I wonder who was being clapped in appreciation, the professor who narrated us this story or the lady who raised the business benchmark by folds.