Hem Sagar Baral contacted BB last week, with the following update on the fledgling bird observatory at Kosi, which has featured previously in BB News & comment (103: 744, 105: 112).
Hem says: ‘I had the pleasure of visiting Kosi Bird Observatory (KBO) this month with Professor Karan Bahadur Shah who is now the Chair of Himalayan Nature. The construction of new house is nearly complete. The furnishings, including electricity, paintings, beds/linens, furniture etc, are still not done. I have been told by Sharad Singh, Director of Himalayan Nature that some money had to be put towards KBO from the core funds of the organisation. He is hoping to make this deficit through funds some of our friends may provide us to support in the near future.
‘Besides Himalayan Nature staff, researchers from other organisations have been using this site as a base, including Bhagawan Raj Dahal, a PhD candidate with School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Mangement at Queensland University, and Paras Bikram Singh, another well known bird researcher of Nepal has been executing his Rufford Foundation funded project based at KBO through the BIOCOS-Nepal. Additionally, RSPB may use the KBO as a base for Bengal Florican conservation project funded by the Darwin Initiative, UK Government. National Trust for Nature Conservation staff have visited KBO to assess its use as a possible base for their Nepal-wide wildlife survey and conservation work. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, including the Director General and Chief Ecologist have shown keen interest to visit the KBO in the near future. The Warden of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and the Major commanding the army barrack kept for the protection of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve have also visited KBO to learn and monitor research facilities being set up. So overall it’s looking goodâ€¦ we just need to fill some of the minor gaps and launch the set up this year!
‘Photos here show the new house, and a group of new generation birders being trained at their early years at KBO! Please note that we produced nearly a dozen excellent birders at the edge of Koshi Tappu over the years and we hope many more here! Telescopes and reasonably good pairs of bins are in demand!’
The bird observatory welcomes ongoing financial assistance. Donations are being processed in the UK by the Wetland Trust. You can send cheques to: Kosi Bird Observatory, The Wetland Trust, Elms Farm, Pett Lane, Icklesham, Winchelsea, East Sussex TN36 4AH. Cheques should be made payable to The Wetland Trust and write ‘KBO’ on the back. UK taxpayers can also Gift Aid their donations.