Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bird Watching

A slightly harsh chirp and a little movement like a small ghost in motion. Or maybe just a white ribbon with a black head, which has acquired a life of its own? A possessed ribbon, may be? Well, even as reason and experience tells me that what I see is the adult male Paradise Flycatcher, I can't rip my eyes off the bird. As I watch, it flits from its perch and makes a rounded flight, a twist here a turn there with its two long, white, tail feathers making undulating movements moving not very unlike the Olympic gymnasts and goes back to exactly where it started from. A chirp again.

Nearby is its female, an orangish brown bird, without the long tail feathers and with a black head. Quite unrelated to our gymnast for the uninitiated! But there goes nature in another of its bewildering and bewitching variations. A delight to the beholder but a beautiful moment gone unnoticed for the less visually adept.

Of all things that have caught my fascination, nothing has so far surpassed the joy that I derive from bird-watching. I had always been awed by birds, but not because of the cliched reasons of their flight or their colors or their songs.

It was as if I was just destined to love the avian fauna, no explicit reasons whatsoever. (The same extends to my love for animals too). The one reason I do sometimes think is true is their freedom and their so distinctly non-human behavior. Or maybe I am just curious about these creatures in an intellectual sort of way... I do not know and for the time being ascribe none of these reasons to my passion.

Initially, we used to look out for newer and as-yet-unseen-by-us species of birds and used to compete as to who has the bigger bird list. But now things are changed, it doesnot matter what bird it is. Be it the excitement of a fleeting glimpse of an Indian Pitta, or the tranquil movements of the bee eaters or the swallows, they instill me with a sense of appreciation for those things untouched by man. And I could just watch the fantail flycatchers and the ioras or hear the orioles and thrushes and waft away to sleep on the bank of some forest stream unconcerned about all else in the world! If only I did not have such a human mind, with its wants and greed! May be I will break away one day, but that day is not in the near future, as far as I can see!

Decided to record my bird sightings on the web by creating
Been using it on and off. Need to be more regular and may be get others to use it too.


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