Participant Profile: Shantilal Varu
Where do you live?
I am living at Madhapur village of Bhuj Taluka, Kutch District (Gujarat)
What do you do?
I am retired government servant.
When did you start watching birds?
I have been bird-watching for over 40 years.
Who would you consider your birding mentor?
I was a keen birdwatcher since childhood and I found great inspiration from Late Dr. Salim Ali and M. K. Himmatsinhji, who I consider as my mentors. I met Salim Ali at Hingolgadh in 1977 and Bhuj in 1979 and I had many birding trips in Kutch with Himatsinhji.
Please describe a memorable birding experience.
One of my most memorable bird-watching experiences was in the year 1978 when we were visiting the Flamingo City in the Great Rann of Kutch. We lost our way in the darkness and had to stay the night in the Rann without any food and very little water. It turned out to be one of my most adventurous birding trips.
What is/are your favourite migrants?
My favourite birds are waders.
What is your favourite place to watch migrants?
My favourite bird-watching places in Kutch are: Great and Little Rann of Kutch, Chhari Dhandh, Naliya Grassland, Banni Grassland and the coastal belts of Kutch.
Why do you think people should care about birds?
Nature has given birds its nicest colours and sounds – people should enjoy these.
View sightings by Shantilal Varu.
Shantilal Varu has contributed 629 reports on the MigrantWatch Database from 26 locations in Gujarat (as on 8 April 2010).
You can write to Shantilal Varu at snvaru at yahoo.in