To bring awareness about Birds and their habitats Karnataka Eco tourism board along with it's patrons held ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಹಕ್ಕಿ ಹಬ್ಬ / Karnataka Bird Festival at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.
First of it's kind in south India, the workshop was conducted for 2 days. The event information was shared in KBF-2015 website. Of course, entry was only through registration.
The schedule was attractive, it consisted both theoretical aspects and guided bird watching. With good orators on board, I was sure that KBF will be a nice experience.
Day 1: Inauguration of Karnataka Bird Festival.
I reached sanctuary park by 2:30 PM-- as per KBF schedule. It was terribly hot.! Summer had just begun. The stage was brilliantly set. LED tv's, projectors and a big decorated dia attracted the audience. The festival was to be inaugurated by Mr. Ramanath Rai, Ho'ble Forest and Environmental minister of State govt of Karnataka by 4 PM. But it was delayed by just an hour and a half.!
|Chief Guests inaugurating the festival.|
|Inaugurating the Interpretation center.|
|Mr. Vinay Luthra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka.|
|Mr. Sugur G.V. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.|
Other scheduled programs were suspended as the inauguration ceremony took extra bit of time. Many of them were disappointed because of change in plans.
Day 2: Guided Bird Watching, Presentations.
A Bird festival without birding is not fair. As expected, guided bird watching was set up during early morning and late evening. Participants were asked to assemble at the park gates by 6:00 AM. Small groups were made and sent to various locations inside/outside park premises. Each group was led by a Certified Eco Volunteer.
|After Guided Bird Watching session.|
After a wonderful birding trail, few participants attended Basic Photography session taken by Sumit Sen, while I continued with some more birding. The objective of this session was to educate the community about bird photography. Although I could not attend this session, I heard it was an effective interaction.
Post breakfast it was full of theoretical sessions. Each presentation focused on delivering important message about conservation of birds.
|Mr. Bikram Grewal spoke about Origin of Indian Birds.|
|Mr. Ramki Sreenivasan, a photographer turned conservationist spoke about Conservation of Amur falcons. (http://www.conservationindia.org/)|
|Glimpse of ME during tea break.|
|Mr. Sreeram M.V, owner of Darter Photography spoke about his experience as a Wildlife photographer.|
|Mr. Manoj Kumar, CCF Kodagu, spoke about Hornbill conservation in Dandeli.|
Needless to say, each presentation was very interesting. Audience exchanged their views and concerns with the experts.
Last hour of the day was dedicated for panel discussion. Well known forest officials Mr.Vinay Luthra, Mr. Sugur, Mr. Vijay Mohan Raj and renowned Conservationists Mr. Subramaya, Mr. Karthikeyan were in the panel. It was extremely informative. The panelists shared their experiences on conservation of wildlife, habitat destruction and encroachment, common man's contribution towards wildlife society, human-wildlife conflicts.
|Sangeetha Kadur, Bird artist. Session on bird art.|
Day 3: Guided Bird Watching, Advanced Bird Photography, Presentations.
Another bright day, another glorious birding session. Bird of the day to me was a Grey Bellied Cuccko female, a lifer !
First session of the day was taken by Mr. Sudhir Shivaram, who does not need any introduction. Most of the participants had enrolled for his session. His session gave us the difference between "Taking an image" and "Making an image". I realized whichever photography methods I was using till then were mostly wrong..!
|Mr. Sudhir Shivararm, during advanced photography session.|
|Mr. Karthikeyan S.|
|Mr. Vijay Mohan Raj, CCF Belagavi, spoke about Magadi Wetland conservation.|
I was looking forward to this particular session eagerly. Fondly known as VMR, he is an inspiration to most of the wildlife enthusiasts. I would sit back and listen to his lecture for hours. A remote place called Magadi gained importance only because of his credible work on conservation of Bar Headed Geese.
|Dr. Prashanth Nuggehalli, spoke about Birds and Tradition.|
|Mr. Ramit Singhal, Manipal Birders, spoke about Coastal birding.|
|Mr. Rohan Chakravarthy, Bird Cartoonist, spoke about Birds and Cartoons.|
|Mr. Subramanya and Mr. Karthikeyan S, spoke about birding hotspots in Karnataka.|
If you are a part of Bng_birds you would often see emails from these guys. Both have enormous amount of knowledge wrt wildlife science. They have striven hard to get some rules in place to conserve critically endangered species.
|Mr. Samad Kottur, speaks about Birding hotspots near Hampi.|
All presentations concluded as per the schedule. Before ending the workshop, the organizers reached out to audience for feedback. Many people stood up for this and shared their experience.
|Dr. Arun S. K speaks.|
|This young guy from Bandipur educates school children about birds.|
|A lecturer from Coorg college of Forestry shares his views about the event.|
|Vote of Thanks by Mr. Kalyan Varma.|
This workshop brought me and birds even closer. Two days of extensive birding came to an end. Am sure everyone who participated in this workshop would have gained good knowledge about feathered friends. Many thanks to KEDB for conducting such a nice workshop. Am sure there are many more coming.
Note: All the above images were downloaded from Facebook page of Karnataka Bird Festival and are not taken by Me. I will remove them from the post if it has caused inconvenience to anyone.
Please visit my post here about birds found in Ranganthittu Bird sanctuary.
Event: Karnataka Hakki Habba.
Date: 27th - 29th March 2015.
Place: Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary, Srirangapatna, Karnataka.