I visited Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary in May 2016 along with my family. Being first time, the enthusiast photographer in me was obviously super excited about shooting the birds in their natural habitat.
I entered the sanctuary at about 2 pm. I would have travelled a short distance and I soon realized that it is almost difficult to see any birds there, let alone shooting them. The sanctuary is about 2 kilometre walking trail with dense forest and swamp surrounding it. Everywhere you see a maze of leaves and branches and birds are rarely seen. All the time I could hear high-pitched sounds of insects and it was almost impossible to even hear flatter of birds. But being in a dense forest was unique experience and I was enjoying it.
I would have travelled for about 20 minutes and soon the enjoyment started turning into boredom due to lack of bird sight. I was wondering if I would ever capture a bird there… at least one picture for a memory… I had given up.
Suddenly my eight year old son showed me something on the ground. It was a bunch of mushrooms grown on dead broken tree base. I quickly grabbed a photo. Something is better than nothing at all. We walked a few feet and he saw another bunch. It looked little bit different so I took another snap. Soon we all started spotting mushrooms on the ground instead of looking at the sky!
We spotted more than half-a-dozen varieties on the trail. Some of them were so unique that I had not even seen anything like them before. We would have been walking for almost 45 minutes till we reached watch tower and I did not capture any bird! We were getting hungry and my excitement had almost ended.
I soon realized another problem. I had been tracking our movement on google map and thought the trail would be circular. In fact we had covered almost 75% distance counter-clock-wise and the road ended! I could see the main gate on google map just 15 minutes away from where the road ended! We had no option but to return the same way we came. Already frustrated by no sight of the birds we returned back with a mixed bag. Our bird trail adventure turned into mushroom exploration!