The cacophony of sounds made by vehicles, horns, machines, loud music, and construction has been replaced by silence. A silence that would have been a part of my life in the mountains this time of the year but now it’s different as I am still in the city.

A month that has been dictated by the lockdown, social distancing, COVID-19, virus, six feet apart, infection, and death brought out mixed emotions. Infections and death numbers around the world have been staggering and unprecedented compared to any other disease during my life. As I write this Nepal has 54 confirmed cases of which 16 have recovered and thankfully there have been no deaths.

Being in the house for more than forty-five days has given me a chance to observe my surroundings in detail. A quiet morning starts as I wake up around 5 am to the Kooo–ooooo Kooo–oooooo song from the Asian Koel that normally perches in a nearby Persian Lilac tree.

The Asian Koel has been actively coming to this location every March to April and makes its presence known. The Kooo–ooooo Kooo–oooooo song of the Asian Koel is sometimes overlapped by the Oriental Magpie Robin’s own long notes which opens up the dusk into a beautiful brand new day.

As the day progresses and I am busy in front of my computer, I tend to keep the nearby Avacado tree in my eyesight trying to hear the tsee – tsee notes of the Oriental White-eye birds making their way to the tree from the distance.

The Oriental White-eye cautiously jumps from one branch to the other browsing through the countless flower buds for nectar and also insects. Common Tailorbirds also frequent the tree and sing aloud cheeup-cheeup-cheeup before vanishing again as fast as they had come.

Far in the distance, I hear a Cookoo sing every day but still haven’t been able to spot it and it doesn’t seem to come around my place. As the day closes a flock of parakeets always heads west and announces their pass-by with their usual squawking call.

*I would love to hear your stories on what wildlife you were able to see from your home during the lockdown. Please do share it below in the comment section.

Seeing new birds around where I live is encouraging. I might be wrong but maybe the decrease in noise level along with the frequency of people moving around has made it possible but still whatever may be the case seeing new birds around is good. I was able to spot a Grey Treepie as well.

It was not just birds but I could see a couple of species of bees, hoverflies, and Cabbage butterflies navigating through the flowers in search of nectar as the morning breeze swayed the plants around. Spotting a Black-spined toad navigating its way through the maze of potted plants and an Oriental garden lizard basking in the early morning sun was also a good sight to see.

Slugs have started making their appearance as well and as the day would come to a close, various types of moths started appearing on the wall attracted by the white fluorescent light.

Although it was lockdown I still loved seeing and spotting the flora and fauna around me. I was able to take pictures of some and some just were for memories.

Birds: Oriental White-eye, Common Tailorbird, Asian Koel, Grey Treepie, House Crow, Spotted Dove, House Sparrow, Common Myna, Oriental Magpie Robin, Red-vented Bulbul, Black Kite.

Insects: Common Mormon Butterfly, Cabbage White Butterfly, Common Tiger Butterfly, Caterpillar, Beatles, Moths, Bees, Hoverflies.

Frog/Toad: Black-spined Toad.

Flower/Fruit: Mountain Ebony, Raspberry, White Mulberry, Persian Lilac, Crown-flower.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues it has taken its toll on human suffering physically, mentally, and economically. On the other hand, as I generalize the concept of how nature has found its time to take a breather there have been known incidents and maybe a lot that is unknown which has highlighted how advantages can be taken in dire times like these and exploited.

The recent shooting of a poacher in Parsa National Park and the trapping and killing of Musk Deers in Sagarmatha National Park have highlighted the problem even more on how insatiable appetite for flora and fauna has spiraled the ecosystem to a downward curve.

The lack of education, passion, and knowledge on conservation, empowerment, and livelihood sustainability of economically disadvantaged people, blindsided governments just focusing on statistics of fast economical development, greed, and many more has always been a factor that needed improving and yet here we are in the 21st century still crying foul.

I hate to rant about how things should have been but के गर्ने (what to do) I just can’t focus on sharing how beautiful Nepal is in terms of flora and fauna while heinous things like these happen.

Thank you all for following and supporting the blog as it has been really good to see the spike in new visitors to this blog. As the lockdown has been going on I have had a chance to re-think my plans to make the blog more participatory and would like to thank Aaloka Tumbahangphey dai for helping decide on it.

I will be introducing a new segment called “What you saw” where you can send me a photo of what you were able to see in that particular month. This will be done for now as a once-every-two-month segment and open to everyone worldwide. I will be updating you on the process of sharing the pictures so do stay updated through Prakritinepalblog’s Instagram and Facebook social media links. 

If you would like to know more about Prakritinepal Blog, then recently I did a live talk with Sattya Media Arts Collective’s In conversation with... (this is mostly covered in Nepali with some English midway) and have also shared some pictures with the stories behind it. Do check it out.

Thank you again for following Prakritinepal Blog. Please follow the rules as per your government’s instructions during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. Wishing you very good health and stay safe.

Ajay Narsingh Rana

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  1. Bhumi Tharu

    As always the monthly post of what i saw is beautiful.
    I would like to share a beautiful moment with a bird during this lockdown. I saw a pair of red wattled lapwing breeding activities , nest monitoring and active defensive attack over predators like dog, kite, crow . There were 4 eggs which were built with stalk of paddy in the ground , camoflauge in farmland ground uncultivated.
    But sadly as the nest was much exposed and their much of energy were expensed with defensive attack , they have to migrate and now the whole ground feels silent without them.
    This was 1st time ever in my life where i saw nesting and very interesting activities of lapwing.

    • Wow Bhumi that is quite an experience you were able to have. Finding a nesting area of any bird is a good find and you were able to see the Red-wattled Lapwing’s nest. Were the Red-wattled Lapwing’s defensive as the Black Drongos? as the Black Drongos are pretty fierce. Does it look like this being the first experience of nest building for the bird to be in an exposed location? I think you have been able to document the moment so I can’t wait to see it when we meet.

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