01/03/20. Brown Headed Barbets in Leisure Valley, Chandigarh.

Chandigarh was designed by Le Corbusier in the early 1950s.   It is a beautiful city, filled with trees and parkland and has glorious views of the Shivalik Hills, a mountain range in the foothills of the Himalayas.  Chandigarh is also a thriving and very busy place, and it is impossible to escape the sounds of the city.   Some areas are quieter than others, such as the northside of Sukhna Lake, now a nature reserve.

In other areas the sound of birds can, partially, overcome the traffic, and this is another benefit of Le Corbusier and his team’s foresight.   A large (8 km long) linear park that follows the route of a small stream was designated in his plan as a green space cutting right through the city; in his plan, Le Corbusier called this area the “Lungs” of the city.

After spending the morning recording at Sukhna Lake, I walked back to my hotel through sectors 3 and 10, in Leisure Valley.  It was a Sunday morning and this also helped limit traffic noise.

Here I encountered a wonderful sound I have heard for years in Chandigarh, but never was able to determine its source.  But this time I stopped frequently and craned my neck into the tree tops to try to catch a glimpse of this bird that make such a contribution to the park atmosphere of the city.   Eventually I saw one; a middle-sized bird green like a parrot and with a large beak and a prominent eye.  It is not particularly rare; they are hard to avoid in the city, but not easily seen.

Their call is a wonderful rich two toned piping, made it seems from high in the trees.   For me it is a characteristic sound of the city.

 

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