country roads - Montreal Gazette

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country roads - Montreal Gazette
H
s e cti o n
Th e
G a z e t t e
M o n t r e a l
S a t u r d a y
03 . 05 . 11
Short Hops goes snowmobiling. Page H2 Country
roads
tr avel
Edi t o r : e d i e a u s t i n
|
514 987 2439
|
Rochelle Lash
visits Sainte Émélie de
l’Énergie and a rustic
inn that now offers a
Nordic-style spa and a
pool. Page H5
[email protected]
photos: Kuni Takahashi New York Times
A birdwatcher at Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. Keoladeo National Park is the former duck-hunting grounds of maharajas and now India’s best-known bird park.
India is a birder’s paradise
From the cold Himalayas to the tropical
rain forests in the south, the country
hosts a dizzying variety of birds – just like
its dizzying variety of everything else
SOMINI SENGUPTA New York Times
I
Painted storks at Keoladeo National Park. Visitors to the park can stay in one of the many inns
nearby, or at Laxmi Vilas, a renovated 19th-century palace.
t began with parakeets, the brash, busybody rose-ringed parakeets of Delhi,
with their lipstick red beaks and their
irrepressible chatter, gossiping in the
crevices of 15th-century tombs.
Then one morning while I drank coffee,
a shimmering blue-black sunbird came to
drink nectar in my garden. At twilight one
day, I looked up to see a hornbill perched
on a neighbour’s tree. An interview with
the prime minister of India was repeatedly interrupted by the calls of a cantankerous peacock in his garden.
And so went my discovery of the birds
of India. It was an accumulation of accidental discoveries. A friend in Mumbai
recommended that I check out the flamin-
gos dancing in the stinky, mucky mud flats
of Sewri. Then one day, not far from the
Taj Mahal, a pair of sarus cranes, the tallest flying bird in the world, stood in a shallow pond. On a trip to the outsourcing hub
of Bangalore, I was urged to drive off the
highway to see pelicans roosting in banyan
trees. And trekking across the Himalayan
plateau called Ladakh one summer, I was
stopped in my tracks by the sight of a blacknecked crane flying across a still blue lake.
Most improbably of all, on a trip back
to that clattering, honking, riotous city
called Calcutta, where I was born, I woke
up one morning to songbirds.
Please see INDIA, Page H4
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MON00949858_1_1

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