Jim Beckham and Cindy Beckham are the owners of Cheeper’s Birding LLC USA and are the very effective and successful mentors of the birding trips anywhere around the world. The couple has initiated their footmarks in the Birding tourism in the countries like Equador, Panama, Namibia, Australia, Belize and many more. Cheeper’s Birding arranges the birding trips in the different destinations of the world. Explore Himalaya recently arranged for the familiarization birding tour of the couple in Nepal. The major purpose of the couple to visit Nepal is to identify the birding destinations in Nepal and to promote these destinations in the US market.
Jim and Cindy Beckham.
Picture Courtesy: Cheepersbirding.com
Jim Beckham a former IT Project Manager has been birding for last 18 years with his wife Cindy Beckham, a former teacher and the winner of Wildbird Magazine 2007 “Birder of the Year” award. The couple has birded in 17 countries of five different continents since 1995. Both of these avid birders; Jim and Cindy hold the membership of Board of Directors of the Dayton Audubon Society. Dayton Birding Society is the organization based in Ohio, USA since 1923. Explore Himalaya had an interview with the couple after their tour around Nepal.
EH: Welcome to Explore Himalaya.
Jim: Thank you so much.
EH: This is your first time in Nepal, how do you find the country first?
Jim: Nepal is an amazing country; however few things that could be bothering are pollution and traffics.
Cindy: Yes, pollution especially in the capital might be problematic but the places beyond the capital are beautiful. So, if we can shorten the stay in the city the tour in the countryside has amazing sides. We know that every major cities of the world are polluted. Since, we are not city persons we are not used to with pollution. (Laughs)
Jim: We stayed in the Park Village Resort and it was very nice and the stay in Chitwan was okay.
Cindy: Except for one thing at Chitwan, in the morning there was smoke all over. Later we were surprised to know that during the months of winter, it was an obligatory cultural act throughout the entire Terai region to get rid of cold and insects. It was strange but was understandable. It was even good to know that the sky is clear without smoke during the other seasons.
EH: Yes, the smoke lasts only in the winter. Once, February starts, we have longer daylight and sky without smokes.
Cindy: What is day light duration in Nepal during February and March?
EH: The sun rises at about 6 in the morning and sets late at 6:30 in the evening.
Cindy: Oh! That’s great. We would have enough time for bird watching during this time of the year.
EH: Yes absolutely, how do you find the country as a tourism destination?
Cindy: We believe that country has huge tourism charm. It is probably one of the most wonderful countries. High Himalayas, rivers and green mountains; everything is perfect. The countryside is wonderful and the forests are amazing. These are the best habitats for birds.
Birding at Chitwan National Park.
EH: How do find the scope of birding tours in Nepal? Does your experience suggest Nepal to be a perfect birding destination?
Cindy: Since, we birded only for 5 and half days and we encountered with almost 200 species of birds. This is amazing. I think Nepal could be a wonderful birding destination. Yes, Nepal has the huge scope in the birding tourism.
EH: You went to Godawari, Taudaha, Shivapuri and ultimately to Koshi Tappu; a paradise for the birders. I hope you enjoyed the tour?
Cindy: Yes, we enjoyed a lot. The trip to Fulchowki was great. The two days birding at Fulchowki was worthwhile. If we have to summarize the birding tour in Nepal was great. Koshi Tappu has the immense possibility but could be our bad luck with improper timing. Our tour guide Burma at Chitwan was very much helpful and informative.
EH: Do you intend to come again with the bird watching group in Nepal?
Jim: Of course! We would love to.
Cindy: We are full with dates on 2013. We would plan a tour to Nepal in 2014.
EH: What would be the preferable group size?
Cindy: We normally arrange the tour for 6 persons at a time, but the trials in the birding destinations in Nepal are quite wide. So, we could be possibly arranging the tour for 10 plus two of us.
EH: We want see the bird watching tourism flourish in Nepal, would you like to provide us some suggestions?
Jim: First, we will start writing articles about this trip once we are back to our country. These stuffs will be helpful to inform the people interested in such activities. Here in Nepal, few things we would recommend. First, the time management during the trip from one point to another. So, that we could be able to utilize the maximum time birding. Next is obviously, to pick the best time for the maximum output from the birding tour. We know Explore Himalaya can easily cope with it.
EH: We really admire for your honest views and we are very much hopeful for your strong support to flourish the birding tourism in Nepal.
Jim: Oh! We would be more than happy to do that. Thank you so much for everything.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.