ATR - Day 18: Yesterday, twisted my ankle, got a few bruises, saw rare kingfisher and not-so-rare eagle; today, had a meet-up, met lots of wildlife enthusiasts and a journalist
My twisted ankle feels better now. Had a meet-up in Kota, Rajasthan, today. Lots of wildlife enthusiasts turned up and by the end of the day met a journalist with truckloads of questions.
October 18, 2023
Wednesday, 11:00 PM
About yesterday first, before we get into what happened today because yesterday was eventful in multiple ways, one of which was the wrong way of my putting my foot on the ground in the darkness of early morning, resulting in a bad ankle-twist, which made me see the proverbial daylight stars for a long moment, and while the stars danced, I also met the ground in a fall. So with a twisted ankle and a few bruises, I sat dazed for a bit before I had the courage to finally stand up slowly and carefully, only to feel a sharp pain shoot up from the ankle. I limped much of the day even though the pain subsided a little after I wrapped the ankle in crepe bandage as soon as I could find one. Having the first aid box close at hand helps. However, nothing to worry even though I did worry quite a bit about having sustained a hairline fracture, based on the intense pain in the moment, but now I am feeling much better.
Yesterday, the group that came to meet took me to various locations, and we went for boating again in the evening, but to a different place. Here, I found a black-capped kingfisher (Halcyon pileata) sitting in the rain, which yielded me an opportunity to click a fine shot of the bird. The kingfisher was lately assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2022. A mere six years back, in 2016, the IUCN had assessed the kingfisher as being of Least Concern, which says a lot about how rapidly and how seriously we are endangering our natural ecosystem.
We also came across a changeable-hawk eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus), which, unlike black-capped kingfisher, continues to be on the Least Concern list of the IUCN as of the 2020 assessment. But that was three years ago. Hopefully, it’s still not in any serious danger. I have seen this bird before also, which is good news because it means that sighting her is not rare, or so I hope. Around this place (I forgot exactly which place this was), I also saw a colony of vultures, which is indeed not a common sight these days because vultures are becoming a progressively rare sight. There are a lot of reasons for their rapidly declining numbers, one of which is the habitat loss. And that reminds me of other losses.
The area of Chambal river that we had gone to for boating yesterday was once frequented by the ghariyals, Indian skimmers and Indian dolphins, but no longer — at least not in such large numbers as before. We see ghariyals and Indian skimmers on the Palighat side of the sanctuary that I had visited earlier but not here. That because Indian skimmers and ghariyals need river islands to lay eggs, and the river islands that were there have gone underwater due to the dam that has been built, so now Indian skimmers and ghariyals cannot breed and for that reason they are no longer seen around all that much. That again is habitat loss.
As far as today is concerned, I woke up early, at around 8:30 AM or so, and started working on shorts and today’s video. There was a meet-up from, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, and a lot of people came to meet. I realized that there are a lot of wildlife enthusiasts in Kota, Rajasthan. There is this group wildlife lovers who have been showing me around the place, and it has been a pretty fun experience. Also, today’s Vlog went live on almost time, and it wasn’t easy, but we are now getting better at things and soon enough our Daily Vlog would start going live on time, which is when other video segments lined up for ATR and pending in the pipeline would also gradually start seing the light of day — or meet the eyes of my social media audience, if you will. That’s it for today!
PS: Met a journalist, who interviewed me at length, and I have never answered so many questions for any of my past interviews. More about it tomorrow.