Renewed interest in birding

When I was in my early twenties, my cousin Manish introduced me to birds. I had gone to India for my sister’s wedding back in the 1980s when Manish and I went to a marshy lake called Thol. There were tens of thousands of birds; Manish knew every one of them. There were spoonbills and flamingos and pelicans and sand pipers and painted storks and a variety of herons and cranes and ducks. I was most impressed by the Avocet with its upturned bill. I was also most impressed by Manish’s knowledge. I felt inadequate and wanted to learn.

That afternoon, I went to the bookstore and bought a bird-book on Indian birds by Salim Ali. I was hooked to birding. I read up on every bird in India and started practicing the art of identifying birds. I went back to Thol with Manish a few times that winter to learn field identification.

My passion for birds has stayed with me over the past decades but has been somewhat dormant. This past November (a couple of months back), Manish and I went back to Thol. It is now a protected bird sanctuary. We saw some of the same birds that we was in the 1980s. Large wading birds were easy to identify but smaller ones were harder. My eyes are not as good anymore (I wear glasses now) and my my bird identification skills are rusty. However, my passion for birds has been revived.

I have a new camera and The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western America comes in handy. Since the new year, I have started photographing birds. I put them up on Instagram (if you want to see pics real-time, just follow me here). Here are a few pictures I have taken in 2017:

Gambel’s Quail
Gilded Flicker Female
Gilded Flicker Male
Gila Woodpecker
Rock Wren
Say’s Phoebe

I will add more pictures of birds and wildlife in the coming weeks and months.

As for training for Tokyo Marathon, it is going well. I have nailed almost all my training sessions including long runs of 15 miles and 17 miles and various fartlek intervals. Generally, I run intervals on Wednesdays and long runs on Sundays.

This Sunday I am running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona 10k race. I haven’t prepared a race plan yet but did look at the course. There’s a steep uphill at around the 5-mile mark followed by a downhill finish. I have to be mindful of my pace for the first few miles in preparation for the uphill portion.

More later…

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