October 8, 2015

September 2015 workshops: Jammu & Kashmir

By Rohit Chakravarty

As part of our efforts to reach out to birders and birding groups, Bird Count India conducts workshops about bird listing and monitoring in different parts of the country. In the last 10 months, we have conducted such workshops in a variety of places, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Mizoram.

Having covered some cities in the south, east and west, in September, we headed north to conduct two workshops, one each in Jammu and in Kashmir. The State of Jammu & Kashmir has a rich and unique birdlife. While there is some literature available about the bird diversity of Ladakh, less in known about birds from the rest of the State.

Treeline at Simthan Pass. Photo by Rohit Chakravarty.

Our workshops have the general theme ‘Birding to make a difference’; in other words how can all of us continue to do the birding we enjoy, while at the same time ensure that our sightings contribute towards a better understanding of the birds we all love? In these workshops, we talk about (1) bird monitoring by local groups, (2) the eBird platform, and (3) how eBird can be used to run bird surveying and monitoring projects.

In Jammu, the workshop was organized as part of the two-day National Workshop on Bird Monitoring (19-20 September 2015) at the Institute of Mountain Environment (IME) in the picturesque hill station of Bhaderwah. The workshop was attended by 25 people, largely composed of research scholars, scientists and veteran birders from Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand, among other eminent people. A field trip was organized on the second day to watch woodland birds in the splendid Jai Valley (30km from Bhaderwah). Many thanks to Dr Neeraj Sharma of IME, University of Jammu, Bhaderwah campus for organizing this wonderful event!

Jammu-workshop at JaiGhati

Workshop at Bhaderwah. Participants on field trip at Jai Ghati. Photo courtesy Neeraj Sharma.

In Kashmir, the workshop was held at the University of Kashmir campus in Srinagar on 22 September. It was organized by an active, local birding group called Kashmir Birdlife in association with the Centre for Biodiversity and Taxonomy of University of Kashmir. Although the workshop was conducted on a weekday and it had rained continuously for over 24 hours, the participation was excellent! Some 25 birders, research scholars and scientists from Srinagar and some other towns of Kashmir attended the workshop. Some birders even turned up for a short bird walk at the university before the workshop. We are grateful to Dr Riyaz Ahmed and Mr Intesar Suhail for the efforts in coordinating this workshop.

Srinagar workshop

Workshop at Srinagar. Photo courtesy Intesar Suhail.

It was a great privilege to interact with the delightful and hospitable birders of Jammu & Kashmir. Subsequently, there have been checklists from the State uploaded to eBird on almost every single day since the workshops. We look forward to the continued support of the J&K birding community and hope to work together with them for bird listing and monitoring in the future!

If you are interested in organizing a workshop in your city, please do get in touch.

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Rohit Jha
Rohit Jha
5 years ago

Similar workshops in at least a couple of cities in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh will do a world of good! In spite of being host to a rich avian life and quite a few birders, very few lists are uploaded to ebird from the state. The approaching winter season is the best time to conduct the same as the state plays host to a large number of winter migrants during this time.

Warm regards.

Bird Count India
Bird Count India
5 years ago
Reply to  Rohit Jha

Thank you Rohit. We would be delighted to do this. Our workshops are always conducted in close coordination with local partners. If a local group is interested in organizing such an event (in one or more places), please let us know!

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