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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Feathered fiends

Feathered fiends is right. And I'm sure there are hordes of photographers who'll agree with me. Tickell's Flowerpeckers rarely stop moving, sunbirds don't either, Ashy Prinias find the thickest clump of vegetation and only provide tantalizing glimpses. I could go on.
Owls are lovely birds. Owlets even more so. I chanced upon this spotted owlet when out birding at Lal Bagh in Bangalore with Deepa, Anush and Pallavi. It's a distinct pleasure when birding with Deepa. She's a storehouse of knowledge, especially on trees, bees, birds and, people. One can never tire of her conversation.

Deepa had led us past the little pond abutting the lake and down to where the old oaks groan in the wind and there, with a rather professorial look on its face, was this spotted owlet. I had fallen in love with these pint-sized beauties when M.B. Krishna first showed them to me on the Bangalore University campus and years later, after I had acquired my camera, I longed to photograph at least one owl and particularly these little ones. This is my first, decent, owl picture.

Parakeets are a pleasure. Their charm, I think, lies in the fact that they are curious, noisy and beautiful. But nary a second will they wait for the amateur photographer like me. This one peered down at me while I peered up at him. Tit for tat, I should think.

Lesser egrets have yellow feet but as Deepa sagely observed, "how are you going to see their feet?" This bird was hunkered down on a lily pad next to a lotus. Deepa has a better picture on her flickr page where she caught this one lunging for some prey in the water.

Ducks are cute. Ducklings can be absolute charmers. This bedraggled butler looked straight into my lens and seemed to say "Yerrsss? Can I help you?" in such portentious tones that I just had to photograph it. Pallavi was absolutely taken in with them and sat for quite a while watching them while ignoring the rest of us quite efficiently as we scrambled to watch the moorhen's antics in the pond which was filled with lovely lilies. The ducklings scrambled for the water ignoring the moorhen which looked suitably affronted and then stalked away walking comfortably on the lily pads.

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7 comments:

Uma said...

Hi Vishwanath,

Very nice post. It is a well-written piece, something that you have in common with Deepa! Great pics too!

Cheers,
Uma

couch potato said...

Thank you for your kind comment Ms. Uma.

I find your pictures excellent too. I particularly remember the one of the bulbul playing peekaboo among the leaves in Bannerghatta.

Pallavi said...

Hey Viper,

Lovely pictures. My favourite is that of the egret on the lilies...er...or was them lotuses? :D

The ducklings were ofcourse very very cute, the way they were lying(and then moving about)as a heap was fun to watch...A little like puppies from a fresh litter huddled together, scrambling on top of each other...

couch potato said...

Thanks Pallavi. Do you think the unidentified bird in my next post was an immature purple rumped sun bird?
You're right about the ducklings. They did seem like puppies huddled together for the warmth.

molarbear's posts said...

I think you write very well, and that's not because of the first few paragraphs either! :)

I am BLUSSSING, as someone I know said....

Keep up with your posts. waiting for the glow-worm one. Even without pics, your blog makes for great reading....

Lubna said...

wow. am blown away.Lalbaugh is my favourite place in Bangalore. Will look out for Mr. Owl next time I visit. I love Owls... hoot

couch potato said...

Thank you. I'm glad you like owls as much as I do, Lubna. There are a number of superstitions concerning owls which are mostly related to wealth or the loss of wealth to be more precise.
I would believe that these are among the more misunderstood birds.