Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary or CKBS is a dedicated sanctuary specialized in conserving avian fauna and maintained by Forest Department of West Bengal. This sanctuary is located in Narendrapur near Rathtola. As a topic of my summer internship project I chose to study the diversity and abundance of avian fauna of this place , obviously the main reason was to get some decent pictures of those exotic resident birds and also I was longing to do something different and natural rather than those routine robotic lab works…
It was 15th june , 7am and I was standing in front of the gate of the sanctuary with my internship cum photography partner Somdipto. We have already visited this place twice but that was from a photographic approach ..and this time it’s more of an academic approach. We got a special permission of 15 days from forest department to carry out our study there without tickets !!
This is a very dense , thick , tropical evergreen forest. This forest is so dense and thick that most of the people won’t believe that such a place actually exists near Kolkata. It’s not at all a photographer friendly place..there is so much perch and density , the dense canopy allows very little light to penetrate so you have to keep your iso very high always. This place is a heaven for insect and macro lovers. But this isn’t a fancy place to wander around. There are poisonous snakes ( like Russel’s viper , common krait ) , abundant of mosquitoes ( most of them are Aedes aegypti – carrier of dengue , fileria etc. ) and lots of blood sucking ticks and lice .
After the completion of two days work we have documented 30 species of birds there and still continuing our work . I am going to share only few of them which I photographed for the first time and also got a decent shot.
1.Orange headed thrush – This one appeared very much interested about us and came very close to us giving enough time for some decent shots.
2. Brown hawk owl – One of the most important sighting !! There were 2 pairs of owls sitting together and they also gave us enough time to take pictures as we maintained a certain distance , but lighting condition was very poor . One thing I always say ..there is something special about their eyes.
3. Fulvous breasted woodpecker – One of the most beautiful woodpecker I’ve ever seen.
4. Oriental white eye – If you don’t look at them very carefully they can be easily misidentified as tailor birds but they are smaller than tailor birds .
5. White rumped munia – The smallest and cutest candidate in my list ..
6. Red whiskered bulbul – Time to time they display very funny activities . This one was checking me out.
7. Slaty legged crake – This bird is a show stopper !! One need to be extremely careful while photographing them as they are very shy.
8. White throated fantail – As they have a tail like Chinese hand fan that’s why they are named so .
9. Rufous treepie – It has a very funny name in Bengali – ” hanrichacha “.
10. Lineated Barbet – It nests inside holes bored into tree trunks…as you can see
11. Common iora – The common iora is a small passerine bird found across the tropical Indian subcontinent with populations showing plumage variations .
addition to these we saw a lot of juvenile bulbuls..
and an Indian grey mongoose –
we also saw 2 Bengal monitor lizards but failed to photograph .
Some important points to consider
As this is a sanctuary so rules and regulations are very strict . Moreover if you want to see wild animals in any form of jungle then you need to follow certain rules and manners –
- The entire zone is a plastic free zone
- Always talk less and softly inside the jungle
- Playing music or loudspeaker is strictly prohibited
- Wearing vibrant colored clothes isn’t encouraged
- Always keep patience and remain quiet
- Never try to go too close or touch any wild animal , give them their personal space