For Abdulla Paleri, weekends are all about driving to beaches, parks and remote desert areas with a friend in search of birds.
While passing along the seashore, green areas and sand dunes, Abdulla cautiously watches the surroundings with his camera in his hands and he tells his friend to slow down the car while the birds come his way.
Abdulla, who is working with Podar Pearl School at Al Meshaf, has completed 25 years of birdwatching while taking beautiful pictures of the winged wonders and also looking for rare varieties. And he looks to continue pursuing his passion while keeping pace with new trends in photography and birdwatching.
“For me, birdwatching is a routine thing. I look to further develop this while making use of the opportunities available in Qatar,” said the expatriate from the southern Indian state of Kerala, adding that Qatar provides a good opportunity for birdwatchers to explore. “There are birds around you no matter where you live. What we need to do is to explore and establish a connection with nature. Birds often get me outside,” he added.
Blue throat, winter visitor
Apart from deserts, Abdulla regularly visits Al Wakra Beach and Al Bidda Park, which are home to various types of resident and migratory birds. “Migratory birds are commonly seen alongside the Al Wakra seashore. During the winter and spring, many birds visit Qatar,” he said.
A graduate in MSc Zoology from Farook College in Kozhikode, Kerala, Abdulla did his PhD from the University of Calicut after completing his research in ‘Ecology of Purple Moorhen (Grey-Headed Swamphen)’.
A teacher by profession, Abdulla attended the International Ornithological Congress held in Durban, South Africa, in 1997. Many articles and papers on birds have been published in various journals, magazines and dailies.
Abdulla is mainly interested in waders and gulls along the southwestern coast of India and regularly monitors their arrival, habitat use and departure for many years. Also, he has directed a documentary on birds and featured many educational lessons on radios and channels.
Northern wheatear, passage migrant
He has authored five books on birds, butterflies and wildlife in general, and conducted several nature awareness classes for thousands of students.
Abdulla was awarded a national teacher award in 2014 after considering his contribution to school education for more than two and a half decades.
For the last two years, Abdulla has been active in uploading video lessons on birds on his YouTube channel along with another bird enthusiast, Navin Antony.