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Watching Winter Waterfowl in Karnataka: 'Welcoming winged wonders'

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The annual mid-winter Asian Waterfowl Census has groomed hundreds of nature lovers into serious bird watchers and has helped wetland conservation in Karnataka. Ameen Ahmed reports. 

(This story was published in the Science and Technology section of the Deccan Herald on 22 Jan 2008 http://archive.deccanherald.com/Content/Jan222008/snt2008012147835.asp)


It was early January in mid-1990s and the road overlooking Kunigal chikka kere marshland, 75 km west of Bangalore city, was desolate, except for a few bird watchers. With the monsoons gone and the dust settled down, we were taking part in the annual mid-winter Asian Waterfowl Census. Our eyes caught a greyheaded fishing eagle that had perched itself on one of the trees lining the lake. The eagle looked ahead, as the orange sun ball rose up the horizon. The mist veil steadily disappeared, offering beautiful vista of the granite hills of Konkekallu that continue to the magnificent Savanadurga. Underneath the eagle's watchful eyes a coot…