‘Nature is a revelation of God, Art is a revelation of Man’- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The author Dr. Caesar Sengupta through his maiden effort of compiling the book “Birds of the Himalayas’, has tried to establish the connection between man and nature. This is because while growing up he was fascinated by the outside world and over time this interest contributed towards taking a liking for photography. He spend years pursuing academic training to become a professional doctor in order to uphold and fulfill his father’s dream. Eventually his dream caught up with him, and photography motivated him to spend time in nature’s solitude, while documenting the avian species of the Himalayan region.
The book ‘The Birds of the Himalayas’, is primarily focussed on two major birding expeditions undertaken by him to Pangot and Sat Tal regions in the Himalayas. While Pangot is the heaven for bird photographers, on the other hand, Sat Tal which comprises of seven lakes in the lower Himalayas is home to a diverse variety of avian fauna given its dense pine and oak forests. In realty the birds of Pangot, especially the ‘Bar Tailed Tree Creeper’ comes through as Birds of the HimalayasBook Reviewone the most difficult species to identify from a distance, due to its extreme camouflage by the bark of the dwelling trees. The ‘Blue Whistling Thrush’, is the largest species of thrush in the world, yet is only located in the temperate forests and subtropical or in the tropical moist montane forests. While the ‘Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher’, breeds in upland oak forests of the Himalayas, during the winter they migrate to the Western Ghats. On the other hand, the bird species of Sat Tal, especially the ‘Plumbeous Water Redstart’ can easily be spotted standing on a rock in the middle of the flowing stream, and can be identified by their sweet sharp call. Even though, the ‘Rufous Chinned Laughing Thrush’, are residents of the evergreen forests of the Himalayas, but they are not a commonly seen specie. This is because they frequent the dense undergrowth in the broad leaved forests and are altitudinal migrants.
This book, although a debut, is the author’s sincere attempt in putting together all the beautiful moments of his travels across the Himalayan regions. Regarding research and detailing, Dr. Sengupta has put in a lot of hard work in collating the minutest of information like birding habits of every little avian species located in the region.
The production values of the book is one thing that would definitely require some more consideration, but then when the book is priced Rs.400/-, one can overlook that. Interestingly, Dr. Caesar Sengupta (MD) is also the General Manager and Head Laboratory Operations of Thyrocare Technologies Ltd.
Reviewed by Mathew Thottungal
Book Title: Birds of the Himalayas
Author & Photography: Dr.Caesar Sengupta
Published By:Thyrocare Publications Pvt. Ltd., Navi Mumbai.
Printed By: Nectar Prints Pvt Ltd,Mumbai