Please join us in congratulating Arabinda Pal of Daspur, India, winner of the December 2015 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optic. Our December winner was drawn from among those who submitted at least 15 eligible checklists containing rich media in December. Arabinda’s name was drawn randomly from the 458 eBirders who achieved the December challenge threshold. Arabinda will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked Arabinda to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more!
I am Arabinda Pal from Daspur, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India. I am a Post Graduate Student at the Goa University, Goa, India. My tryst with birds started one-and-a-half years ago when I was fascinated by an Indian Paradise-Flycatcher in my backyard. Since then there was no turning back for me and I have been constantly birdwatching.
What started as a casual hobby turned to a serious and more effort based activity when I started birdwatching in Goa. In a span of 18 months I have been able to explore the rich avifauna of Goa and have been able to clock 311 species within this short span. During my exploration of birds of Goa I was able to contribute to better understanding of the birds of the state by monitoring the bird life of my University campus consistently and have also documented the Sirkeer Malkoha (a new record for the state) Greater Flamingo and the Egyptian Vulture (rarities in the state). [Team eBird note: here is a nice checklist from Arabinda’s December eBirding — one of the qualifying lists: https://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26454178]
Other than Goa, I have also been birding extensively in West Bengal, my home state. I was introduced to eBird by the Goa Bird Conservation Network in March 2015. Since then, I have been hooked on eBird and have taken it up as a personal goal to contribute as much as possible to eBird through my birding. The introduction of the media upload facility made eBird a bit more exciting for me since eBird now has become a more vibrant way to ensure that my photographs don’t stay locked up in my hard disk. I would like to thank Goa Bird Conservation Network for their support in helping me develop as a birder, and BirdCount India for the constant encouragement that they provide to all eBird users in India.
Thank you eBird and thank you Zeiss!