Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Coincidence? Or...(insert sinister music here)

So there is this friend of mine. Yes! I still do have friends inspite of the PJs I churn out like 'Pun'jab churns out lassi.I digress.So about this friend of mine.We meet up once in a way on weekends over a drink or four.To plan our nefarious activities we usually keep in touch on the phone as both of us have a more than one pan on the burners.Its a remarkable coincidence that the last three times i have spoken to him, while i was still on the phone , I have seen Grey Hornbills, at each time the location was different.Maybe I should bring this chap birding.God knows what we might see then, or at least give him a call if birding is not that great.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I concur

Truth to tell, the sisters Vyas aren’t really chirpy early risers. But we have a persuasive mother and I went walking with her this morning. Having heard of this ‘goldmine of a birding spot’, I urged that we direct our footsteps thither. And what do you know, Shweta’s spot is truly lovely. Apart from the military guards who’re distinctly (and understandably) antsy about lurkers with binoculars. Once you shake them off, though… oh, what fun.

This morning’s yield, after I leave out the usual suspects of sun birds, prinias, spotted doves, bee-eaters, mynahs and babblers:

Short toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus) – 1 nos
Grey Hornbills (Ocyceros birostris) – 4 nos
Coppersmiths (Megalaima haemacephala) – 1 nos (seen), a forestful (heard)
Tickell’s flycatcher (Cynoris tickelliae) – 1 nos
Indian robin (Saxicoloides fulicata) - 1 nos
Blackrumped Flameback woodpecker (Dinopium benghalense) – 1 nos
Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) – 4 nos (first viewing of the dance, specimen bit sparsely endowed but I shall not cavil).

Also on the way back through the colony, poking head out of a cracked window glass… Mr Sparrow! With the missus not far away, appearing very broody. Joy! I find the Sparrow defection very hard to take, and every sighting is like forgiveness.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Bird rights

I am in a terrible fret. The thing is, I found this goldmine of a birding spot about a kilometer from home, I have been there three days in a row, and now it seems I may be banned from it. My mother squarely blames me for arguing with the military guard and says I may be responsible for that entire area being shut off from civilians. I don’t think things are so bad yet. I have finally managed to ferret out my army camouflage cap and hope to appear very inconspicuous tomorrow.
Really, but how is one expected not to display some enthusiasm when one spots a pair of White-bellied Drongos, a Silverbill, a Coppersmith, an Oriole, two loverly Treepies, a pair of Grey Hornbills, an Iora, a Large Wood Shrike and then goes a little ahead to stumble upon so divine a birding spot that all IDing faculties are suspended in stupefaction. All this a stone’s throw (OK given a giant’s arm) away from where I’ve been living all my life! Surely, under these circumstances one is allowed to be a little silly?
Any way I have to go back and confirm if some of those bathing beauties were indeed Indian Blue Robins. Like I said, it was so perfect a picture that all I could do was stand and stare. It was a thickish overgrowth with a tiny stream going through it. The sun was slanting in and catching the water most beautifully. The air was sharp with birdcalls. And suddenly they swooped in, about ten of them, and raised the dust off the water. The flying water droplets were like silver beads in the sunlight and our friends were having themselves a frolic. Later they perched themselves to dry off and I thanked heaven for a day well begun.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Look at what flew in...

This fledgling parakeet came into our garden yesterday. Blossom headed, we reckon, going by the yellow beak. Our theory was it flew from its nest in a fit of reckless bravado and then finding itself tiring, came down to rest, because it sat there quietly in this hibiscus bush for about half an hour even as the sun birds and tailor birds twittered around it.