birdwatching

Your love is haunting me: Black-Winged Stilts

Black-Winged Stilts are one of the longest-legged waders in the stilt and avocet family. It doesn’t sound like a big deal until you see them. Then, you realize that you may secretly have a foot fetish. Or something which is just as uncomplicated and beautiful.

Every movement of theirs is a dance step waiting to happen. I bet it’s all they do when nobody else is watching them. During lazy afternoons, far from urban kerfuffle, they tap-dance their hearts out. At nights – with only fireflies for neighbors, they move to the sound of flowing water as it kneads through tiny rocks.

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A 5-star review in the sky: Pompadour Green Pigeons

It was a cold start to the day in the sleepy village of Kurangu Mudi in the Anaimalai Hills. The sun wasn’t up yet. I was sipping on hot beverage outside a tea shop, petting an old mongrel. We were watching the mist disappear from moist skirts the forest wore that morning. Suddenly, out of nowhere, ghostly cries hijacked the air. I looked around and saw only the sleepy stare of the shopkeeper.

So, I craned my neck upwards to see if they were birdsongs. I noticed that a flock of pigeons had taken to the skies, and they were heading towards the other side. They were too quick for me to identify them by name at that moment. And so I ran after them until I reached a fence safeguarding the wild animals from people and vice-versa.

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Birdwatching in Chennai: A day in the lake of…

Sholinganallur is the nearest birding spot from where I live. It is home to many residential and migratory birds. But I haven’t been there much. I visit places like Vedanthangal, Kanchipuram or Pulicat, which are further away, during weekends. It isn’t easy to wake up at 3:30 AM and leave for a 2-hour drive with bad roads and poor visibility. Yet I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I believe that nothing worth having comes easy. Whenever the universe has been randomly benevolent – without expecting something in return – I have questioned its motive. Karma doesn’t work that way. Even if we may not always reap what we sow, we must keep toiling away in the fields. Especially, during the harvesting season.

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Please do not disturb: Coppersmith Barbets

Coppersmith Barbets don’t look like they belong in metropolitan cities. One might assume they reside in secret fruit gardens. Watched over by wood elves and courted by cellists with sunflower stems instead of strings.

A year ago I had an unforgettable experience with one in my city. I noticed an emerald bum jutting out, rather comically, of a hole in a tree stump. A Coppersmith Barbet was playing peekaboo with the midday sun, and the monster in me.

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Thereafter there flew a raptor

An eagle undresses
the clouds after the
summer rain, seducing
the wild blue yonder
to show a little skin
and a tattoo of the moon
on its cream cheese cleavage.

I freeze a little every time I spot an eagle. Ever since I heard that they fly above the clouds to avoid the rain, I have been hopelessly smitten by then. But it hasn’t been easy to spot them. (more…)

It’s a bird-eat-frog world

She
stirs
at dawn,
storing
dewdrops
in the
lining of
her eyes,
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Something about her beak felt like 1968 to me

With a
nutmeg
for a bosom,
she bears
the swiftness
of the breeze
on her beak;
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I’d hate to eat and run but…

He
runs
wildly,
in search
of her
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Wild is her colour palette

I
want to
grow old
in your hair,
like wild plantains,
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There is a painter in my room

She
paints
the stillness
of dusk
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