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A bird in the bush…

is worth two in a cage.

That’s the philosophy WildGoa was endorsing at 7am on Sunday morning. About 40 enthusiastic (and sleepy) birders gathered at Miramar circle in an attempt to “introduce city dwellers to the birds around them”.

The 2 hour walk circled Miramar beach upto Caranzalem and back to Miramar via the road. For those of us who walk by beaches (or any road, for that matter), the thriving bird population came as a surprise.

On the beach, we saw clumps of tiny plovers, invisible among the sand in their camouflage. Their presence was revealed by the stray dogs who kept themselves entertained chasing the flock into the sea. “Follow the dogs and you’ll find the plovers”, someone quipped.

More variety was to be found on the road leading from Caranzalem to Miramar Circle. Kingfishers were spotted in the distance, swifts flew overhead, warblers played hide-n-seek among the elephant grass. What made our morning was the sight of a flock of bee-eaters, resplendent green in the morning sun. I caught one (on film) munching on a dragon fly. Amazing.

The sight of a golden yellow oriole, dazzling yellow the color of a turmeric shaded silk saree, drew oohs as it flew past.

This little jaunt proved to us that there is wildlife everywhere around us if only we stop to look.

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WildGoa celebrates six years in 2008 and there are treks organised over three Sundays in November to Dudhsagar and other places. Details on the WildGoa yahoo group or FB. Local Goan papers are also publishing the info. Or email me if you need details.

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