Friday, April 12, 2013

Bangalore Diaries - Birding from the balcony

It's been a quiet morning. The usual high pitched red whiskered bulbul has not come visiting me today. I can hear him distantly but not from my balcony. Sipping my morning cup of tea, I see the black kite enjoying his bath on my neighbour's terrace. His entire head is dipped into the water, while he does a little jig showing his big behind, ruffled up with feathers that stand a little pointedly. The water tank on my neighbour's terrace had overflowed a bit, forming a bit of a puddle and it becomes the bath tub for these birds. Another black kite suns himself on the branches of the coconut tree. I sip my tea and watch these birds in amusement. The crows are waiting for the black kite to finish but the mynahs are in a hurry. A flock of pigeons watch them, disinterested . I shoo them away as they come near my balcony looking for nesting spots. I am tired of their intrusion and the advantage they take of my hospitality.

I have never seen the red whiskered bulbul taking his bath. He has been visiting me for over a month now, hoping from one branch to the other. He prefers the balcony attached to my bedroom than the one to the living room.The branches of the hibiscus are more comfortable to him than the thorny ones of the rose. Recently he brought a mate with him - possibly to check out nesting spots. They were calling to each other and having private conversations and then they decided to go away. Maybe they didnt like their prospective new home. So, I havent seen him today ..maybe, they are househunting.

I have been house hunting too for a while, looking for a bigger house in the vicinity, but the prices are going high. The husband was quite taken in by a newly contructed house, but I was appalled to find that there was just one balcony there - and that too an apology for one. But the trees around the house and on the road made up for it. However the negotiations came to a standstill.

I have loved my balcony ever since I moved in here seven years ago.  A number of visitors flock here. If they don't visit my balcony, they are normally around my neighbour's terrace. The sunbirds, the tailor birds, the tits, even a stray kingfisher came here for a week. I miss the magpie robin which was quite a regular and the rose ringed parakeets which used to hang up side down from the terrace. The spotted dove is missing now though I have seen him at the park recently. A couple of ashy prinias came here chasing each other once and I have seen some wabblers fly past.

I know its winter when the grey wagtail visits me, shaking its pretty tail, looking lovely in a coat of yellow and grey . I know its summer when the barbet whizzes past me in its coat of green. I am missing the asian koels. They normally bring the roof down, crying out piteously.The garden is quiet now but for the multi coloured butterflies that just troop past. I have just had my third cup of tea from morning, listening to these calls and waiting for the red whiskered bulbul - will he come today ? There, I can hear his call..

No comments: