Participant Profile: Dipu Sasi

This entry was posted Thursday, 7 March, 2013 at 2:47 am

Dipu Sasi

Where do you live?
I hail from Kumarakom (Kerala) which is part of the Vembanad Kol Wetland, an Important Bird Area. But for the past four years I am in in Kanha National Park (Madhya Pradesh) where I work as a naturalist with Taj Safaris who operate a lodge there.

When did you start watching birds?
I developed an interest in bird watching in my early teens. It all started with me joining a conservation NGO. I took some field study and conservation lessons with them, including some birding trips with seasoned birders. That got me interested in the wonderful world of birds.

Who would you consider your birding mentor?
I have had the opportunity to bird with some brilliant experts. These have ranged from field scientists to guides from local communities who have lived all their lives in the jungle and know the intricate details of bird habits which cannot be found in books. However, I hold Dr. B Sreekumar – a renowned birder form Kerala – as my guru in this field. For the last decade I have been fortunate to be involved in most of the bird counts conducted by the Forest Department and other organisations in Kerala, which helped me hone my skills as a birder.

Please describe a memorable birding experience.
Any time I go to a new habitat where the birdlife is very different is memorable for me. However, If I had to choose one, it would be my first trip to Corbett National Park. I saw an astounding number of new birds, one which we so lovingly call ‘lifers’. Nearly 180 ‘lifers’ in a few days was one of my most memorable birding experiences.

What are your favourite migrants?
It would have to be the various warblers and waders. It has always thrilled me to hear their calls, especially of waders in Kerala where they migrate in large numbers.

What is your favourite place to watch migrants?
Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, and the large wetlands of Southern India. The species found at these places are so vastly different from each other.

Do you have any advice for beginning birdwatchers and naturalists?
Enjoy the birds to begin with, before getting into a competition mode of chalking up numbers.

Why do you think people should care about birds and nature?
By taking care of birds and nature you are only taking care of yourself and the generations to come.

Any other information that you’d like to share with MigrantWatchers?
Apart from birding, I am very concerned about the usage of plastic in our everyday lives. I endeavour and am working towards awareness against the use of this menace that is, along with other pollutants destroying our planet. It is time to start acting locally, and I beseech each one reading this, to stop the use of plastic starting with yourself and your family. Thank you!

You can see Dipu Sasi’s MigrantWatch contributions here.

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