On 16 June I reached Hotel Soaltee to receive President Carter. A special agent in his security team introduced me.
“Raj is here to guide you for your birding trip Mr President,” he said. Carter replied, “Great, Raj means royal, treat him as a royal.” It served to put me at ease.
On the way to the SNP, I gave President Carter a brief introduction to Nepal’s biodiversity. After the Chief Warden and Nepal Army officials received him, we were joined by Kazi Dai, and began our trip.
First, we visited the Pani Muhan, a small creek where as expected we spotted a Plumbeous redstart, and a flashy White-capped river redstart. On our 1.5km walk following a hill tract leading to Danda Gaun above Tokha, we saw 20 different bird species, a good number for the monsoon. We even spotted the showy Red-billed blue magpie.
Before ending the trip, I requested Carter for an autograph, I had brought his book with me. All in all, I was with him for three hours but in that time I found out that he had great respect for nature, as did his wife Rosalynn.
Back in the US the Carters recorded all the birds that visit their feeder. He also shared that a green laser pointer helps to spot a bird’s location better in a dense forest.
I was thrilled when asked to guide them both once again in 2013 when Carter came to consult on the second Constituent Assembly election.
This time we went to Nagajung sector of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park and were accompanied by the Chief Warden who was a great help in locating birds. I also carried a green laser pointer with me remembering our last birding trip five years previously.