By Dennis

Poonkulanji, a remote forest area in Pathanapuram, Kerala, has now turned into a birders’ paradise, thanks to Sreejith R. Birders across the country have started visiting the area quite regularly, inspired by Sreejith’s stunning shots of rare bird species found here, shared by him on his social media accounts.

Sreejith works as the Assistant State Tax Officer, GST, in Kottarakara, Kerala. He is a renowned figure among the birding community in Kerala, and has received recognition and awards for his passion in this field. A few of his shots have also been featured in the Kerala Forest Rangers Association calendar for 2021.

The passionate birder had a lot of insights to share, as he started talking about his interests and experience in birding while exploring the forest.

It didn’t take Sreejith long to recognise the different bird calls and figure out their location in  the thick forest. A few minutes in, and he came out with a victorious smile on his face. He had found his catch, some beautiful shots of the Grey Headed Bulbul. According to him, it was not easy for birders to capture shots of this bird.

Sreejith credited his experience with birding to many valuable lessons he learnt in life. Learning patience and accepting the unpredictability of life are just two of them.

There were instances when he had gone miles to capture shots of birds and returned empty handed. At the same time, he mentioned an incident when he got to capture a photo of a migratory bird at a moment when he least expected it.

“It has taught me to live without expectations,” he remarked.

“I also had a lot of arrogance in what I did, when I was starting out as a birder. But that pride was shattered when I met one of the most renowned birders of Kerala, in the most unexpected manner,” he fondly recalled while sharing his experiences, seated in the midst of the little bird haven that was Poonkulanji.

Shot & Framed: Sreejith’s photograph on display at Punnala Forest Station, Kadassery

Sreejith shared fascinating facts and even myths about various birds found in the locality. His passion for birding and love for the creatures became made more evident when he talked about the ethics in bird photography.

“I don’t believe in capturing terrific photographs at the expense of disturbing the birds’ peace and intruding their natural habitat,” he firmly said.

Sreejith also delved into the various technical aspects of photography and camera equipment. He strongly believed that a photographer shouldn’t be too fixated on buying the best or the most expensive camera, but rather focus more on understanding and utilising the one they had at hand. He showed his own camera as the perfect example for the same.

After all, as Sreejith has always suggested when it came to birding : keep things simple.

By Dennis