Wednesday, June 02, 2010

They are back

Not exactly a live-birding blog post. Yes, you see, my birding quota over the past year has dropped virtually. Actually no, increased "virtually" and decreased in reality. Apart from which, they are back.

Eventually, pigeons have to feature on everyone's hit-list. Emily writes on action taken by the authorities at White Plains station against rising pigeon menace on I Ride The Harlem Line. While the anti-pigeon posters she has designed to poke fun at the North Metro people's efforts are hilarious, it looks like the joke's really on humans after all, what with pigeons now riding the metro.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A plane of paradise

It started off being an ordinary morning at the guest room of the Lace-park of Narsapur in West Godavari. That was till I heard knocking on the large glass paneled windows behind the heavy blinds of the west-facing room. I approached the window a little surprised because I thought it was odd for someone to be getting my attention that way instead of coming to the door. High pitched chirping coincided with my moving away the curtains, after which I was entirely motionless for the next ten minutes (apart from perhaps my jaw which dropped involuntarily and remained that way till I eased it shut after a while).

Not more than five feet from where I was sat a Paradise-Flycatcher on the low bough of a tree undertaking the most unusual antics. It came close to the window to which my nose was practically stuck, hovered close and knocked at it a couple of times before going back to its restless perch on the tree. This it continued to do for the next ten magical minutes. At one point it came to hover no more than ten inches from my face. I was too delighted , too afraid, and frankly too befuddled to move. But as it turned out I needn’t have worried. It kept coming back, darting close, hovering, perching, calling repeatedly and generally appearing absolutely fascinated by either the glass or me!

The explanation for this unusual behavior came to me soon. By an extraordinary stroke of luck I had found myself face-to-face with this beautiful creature across the barrier of a mirror tinted glass panel!

Needless to say, nothing remained ordinary that day.

Saagar-e-jalwa-e-sarshaar hai har zarrah-e-khaak

Shauq-e-didaar balaa aaina-samaan niklaa

- Ghalib