Srinagar: Call it a lockdown effect, Parmil Kumar, an avid bird watcher has sighted nine unusual species for the first time in his locality.
An Associate Professor of Statistics department at Jammu University, the 45-year-old bird watcher has been documenting different species for the last four years.
“With near-zero vehicular movement, it was a surprise to hear the calls of nine different birds in the area like never before,” Parmil said.
The birds included Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Perigrine Falcon, Western Crowned Warbler, White-eyed Buzzard, Yellow-throated Sparrow, Veriditer Flycatcher, and Chestnut tailed Starling.
“Air, sound, and water pollution have reduced at a significant rate after the countrywide lockdown was observed. This might have prompted the birds to return to their old habitats,” he said.
One of the significant members of Jammu and Kashmir Bird Watching Club, Parmil has reported 407 species of Birds from J&K, making him the first individual to record the highest number of birds.
Armed with his weapon of choice, SLR Nikon D500 with a telephoto lens, Parmil observes the birds from his balcony every morning and evening.
“For every new bird I see, I learn new things about the species, such as where it originates, whether it is a migratory bird, what food it eats. It is almost like a new story every day,” he said.
For Parmil, watching colorful creations bring a feeling of joy and happiness. “It’s like Almighty has himself has descended on the earth to be with his loving human beings,” he said.
During the lockdown, the chirping of birds has acted as a great stress booster. “The good part is that my loving daughters Ashwika and Aafreen join me in this pursuit of learning the basics of bird watching,” he said.