Shoot

In fine feather: Meet the birds of Pangot

Sunil K Mukhopadhyay | Updated on July 26, 2019 Published on July 26, 2019

Boasting over 530 avian species, this village in Uttarakhand is a birder heaven

You can see them at a distance and hear them chirp through the day, but to make one pose for a picture is no easy task. There are more than 530 species of birds in the Kumaon area of Pangot, just 15 km from Nainital in Uttarakhand. But photographing these winged creatures calls for wells of patience and perseverance. The thick foliage makes it difficult to even spot them. The smaller the bird, the more elusive it is to the lens. The birds are naturally shy and fly away at the merest rustle.

I waited for hours for just the right shot at a hideaway erected for birdwatching in Pangot. A telephoto lens is a must to be able to capture the birds from a distance without disturbing their environment. Patience is vital for bird photography, but you also have to be quick, for the subject can disappear before you can even focus on it. Smaller birds such as the grey-hooded warbler, black-throated or green-backed tits, verditer flycatcher and red-breasted flycatcher are generally restless and fly off in seconds. But then that’s half the fun of birdwatching!

Sunil K Mukhopadhyay is a journalist based in Kolkata

Published on July 26, 2019