When I was a little girl, I had this yellowed illustrated encyclopaedia of animals, which I read with great joy from cover to cover. The pages which got the most attention and careful examination were in the bird chapter. I was particularly in love with the flashy Eurasian Kingfisher and the less glamorous Common Starling. As I have mentioned in an old post, I had never seen a real starling, nor understood that they are as ubiquitous and exciting as a city pigeon, but the illustration was so beautiful with its violets, blues and emerald greens, that I believed the simple starling to be the loveliest bird in the world.
As I grew up, the book was lost behind others, but my appreciation for birds remained unchanged. Since meeting Pedro, fellow Urban Sketcher and bird illustrator, I've begun to finally see more of those birds I fawned over in my encyclopaedia. Though my bird list is tiny, I've seen not one, but two kinds of kingfishers, countless starlings, and many other birds I've only ever seen in drawings. We walked the length of Phewa Lake and explored its parks in search of sunbirds, jacanas and Purple Swamphens.