It is always a pleasure to travel to a place along with local experts or experts who understand the place very well. It is something I try and do wherever I go and it has aided me tremendously in my photography. There is so much ‘learning curve’ one can cut in the process.
Tal Chhapar has two such people. One is the legendary Pooniaji, the forest officer who literally put Tal Chhapar on the global birding map with his many, many discoveries along with ground level conservation work like protection, notifications, etc. The other person is Delhi-based high-flying executive Sharad Sridhar who is so passionate about Chhapar that he spends literally every weekend there. So when I got an opportunity to visit the place when both were around, I couldn’t miss it! Of course, the fundamental motivation of the visit was the unusual presence of an extraordinary raptor – a White-tailed Eagle in the grasslands. I dipped on this but had plenty of other opportunities – especially pipits & raptors!