Birds and roses: October rain

I haven’t had a satisfying day of birding in a long time. Two weekends ago, the rains came uninterrupted and washed my chances away. And then all through the week the sun was out, bright and proud.

Last Friday night saw the city shrouded in gloom again. I drove about 50 kilometers away from the city on Saturday morning anyway. The sky pointed and laughed at me, and howled furiously, garden-hosing the ground below. My chances of spotting a bird other than one of the usual suspects were slim. I drove back, feeling like a wet mongrel, embarrassed about my optimism.

I woke up at 4:30 am, as usual, on Sunday. I procrastinated for about an hour. I looked outside. It didn’t seem cloudy. But my weather app advised me to remain cynical. When in doubt about birds, I trust in the goodness of the universe to lead me to them. This time around, the sky had a knock-knock joke.

Knock, knock
Who’s there?
Birder who?
Birder not laugh, birder must cry,
I am going to rain on your parade without telling you why!

So, it has been nearly 20 days since I shared a moment with a bird. It isn’t their fault. Not the ecosystem’s either. It’s just one of those things. I have also dealt with it surprisingly well, which only means I haven’t set anyone else’s hair on fire.

I had planned to stay indoors this weekend, and away from birds. And later – look back at this month as that October when we were on a break. It has been a disappointing month for the birder in me. Ideally, I should wait and plan something special. Meanwhile I can always check out the Rose-Ringed Parakeets in my backyard.

However this blog has always been about the birds. I mean, bird is the word. I am too bird-brained to let go. And the world is, after all, for the birds. Don’t forget that a bird in hand is illegal. Unless you are domestically raising or gallantly rescuing it. And even one in the bush is bundle of ecstasy.

I ought to go birding this weekend. If not, do visit my YouTube page to see a video of me running out in the streets of Chennai, with a flame-thrower, pointing to my hair and threatening to set it on fire. With nobody protesting it, I would squat on the pavement, clutching my knees and mumbling “I swear I will do it”.

Instead let’s get some birds in here, can we?

These are few of the photographs I haven’t posted before. Most of them were taken in 2014 – my greediest year in birding.

Spotted Owlet, Ponneri

Leave behind, not your wings,
but your songs.
Lead me, never out of the abyss,
but into my own.

(Photographs: Chennai, Kanchipuram, Munnar, Vagamon, Valparai, Kodaikanal)

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