Watching birds and soaking in the sun

There’s something about soaking in the winter sun that warms the very core. When I moved to Gurgaon from Mumbai, I was excited to enjoy the winters after having lived in the balmy sultry Mumbai for years. And I try to enjoy the cold and sparkling sun as much as I can. The winter sun is eagerly awaited because much of the winter days are spent nearly entombed in dense fog. So when the sun dispels the fog, everyone rushes out to soak it in, revel in it before the sun turns harsh and begins to singe the skin.

The swampy marshes and ridges outside Delhi and Gurgaon have an annual visitor – the feathered kind that flies across lands and oceans. The migratory birds from far away lands come every year to soak in the sun and enjoy the weather away from the icy lands of their habitat. Sultanpur bird sanctuary is a great place for bird watching and enjoying the sun.

There’s a kind of joy in watching birds lazily float above a water body, scouting for a fish; hearing the cackle of their collective chatter and feeling the warmth of the sun on your face. Every time I see these migratory birds, I can’t help wonder…how did the first flock know that they could come here…1000s of miles away from icy Siberia? How did they know that there was a warm land so far away from home? Weren’t they wary of flying to an unknown destination? And then… how did they pass the learning to other birds? How did they communicate? It’s just so fascinating to imagine this knowledge being passed on from one flock to another.

The swampy marshes are no less fascinating. Just 35 km from the heart of Gurgaon and you are transported into a completely different world.

I could sit near the waterfront, gazing at the birds, hearing their calls. Nature soothes in a way that nothing else does. It heals you, calms you and also makes you feel like a tiny speck in the scheme of things. You realize the vastness of Nature, its mysterious ways and sheer mindboggling beauty. As I bid adieu to the birds in Sultanpur Bird sanctuary, I whispered to them, I’ll be back again next year. And they replied back, so will we.

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