Birding in Nepal – some frustrations

Feral Pigeon in Kathmandu

Feral Pigeon in Kathmandu

One of the aspects of visiting Nepal in 2006 that excited me was the prospect of seeing many birds for the very first time. This was my first trip overseas and for months before I studied field guides to help me identify the birds, first in Thailand and then in Nepal.

At first I was quite disappointed with the birding I was able to do. I soon realised that watching birds was not my main purpose in visiting these countries, so any birds I did see were a bonus. Secondly, I realised very quickly that identifying birds in a strange country is not easy. Even though I had studied the field guides for many months, getting an ID for some birds was very hard. Third, trying to identify and photograph a bird from the back of a moving elephant, or in the lurching back seat of a 4WD or bus, or while gasping for air when staggering up the track towards Mt Everest IS NOT EASY.

So, in that context, the photo above was a bonus. This Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) posed for me beautifully on a the ledge of part of a temple in Kathmandu. Still, I didn’t exactly travel a third of the way around the world to see and photograph a common bird I can see just by stepping out my front door at home. [Sigh]

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