Skip to main content

SUMMER VISITORS





Till the middle of the month, the mornings in Delhi had remained unusually cool for the month of April. It had been heavenly to have early morning tea outside in the back courtyard of our house. We are blessed in having a few trees around our house. In between the silk cotton tree (semul) and drum stick tree, you can easily spot at least 15 species of birds on your lucky day. Thus, we have usual birds like sparrow, myna, brahminy myna, dove, blue rock pigeon, wood pigeons, rosy pastors, wabblers, sun bird, robins, bulbul, crow, kite, parakeet, sun bird, etc.




The wood pigeons had come and gone away, stopping only for a few days for face presentation; the flock of noisy rosy pastors was in the process of leaving;  white-cheek bulbul, kingfishers, and grey hornbills were also making occasional appearance; every morning tree pie is trying to imitate other birds; barbets, large and small, were heard more often than seen with their continuous, monotonous ‘thuk…thuk…’. We do not have roosters around us, but koel has assumed its function with its shrill call rising in crescendo and then suddenly going quiet. Unfailingly, it gives its call at 4 am, and sometimes at 3! Where was it all throughout the winter? Soon we shall witness crow chasing away a female koel from its nest, but many a koel would succeed in throwing away eggs in the crow nest and laying their own.




Gone winters, the trees have become mad house of activities with birds of all color and hues, shapes and sizes. The mornings occupy them with their frantic search for food and building material. All through the winter, they had gone on sabbatical, and now they have made their appearance to reclaim their rightful place among trees and bushes. The insects, which had remained conspicuous with their absence, have suddenly become visible almost in sacrificial mood, allowing us to witness hide and seek with birds, who dart down from some invisible spot in the tree to hunt them and insects or moths scurrying in the grass or fallen leaves for their lives.

The mornings are no more pleasant any longer, mosquitoes are perhaps envious of seeing us enjoying our morning tea, and won’t let a single second pass without their sting hitting us at some unreachable spot of the body, but the call of the birds is still fascinating making us endure all the oppression of heat and mosquito bite.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

TREK TO VALLEY OF FLOWERS AND HEMKUND SAHIB

When I told my family and friends that I wanted to trek to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib this August, everyone thought I was just crazy. Besides Delhi, the rain gods had been relentless over Uttarakhand too causing road breaches at multiple sites in various hill towns. There were landslides everywhere and traffic to all the well known pilgrimage centres of Badri Nath, Kedar Nath, Gangotri and Yamunotri were getting cut off from rest of the country every now and then. The group I was trying to assemble had fallen through. But to do justice to the Valley of Flowers, one has to trek there in the month of August only when the entire valley is at its best bloom. So finally, I enquired at the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd (www.gmvnl.com) if they had any vacancy for its weekly tour to Valley of Flowers – Hemkund Sahib – Badri Nath. Of course, they did not have any for the month of August. However, I was banking on some cancellations hoping some people might not like to venture on this…

Chopta - Tungnath - Chandrashila Trek

Five days of holidays in the beginning of October was god-sent for many people to make a beeline into their favourite destinations; we too planned to make best of this golden opportunity, since it does not happen very often that one gets constellation of holidays falling together. If I have to plan, what better place than go for a quick visit to the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. Chopta and Tungnath had been in my mind for a long time. I made enquiries and found this was a doable trip in five days. Vasu, after some hesitation, agreed to accompany me, and then I asked Shariff, who approved the plan (of course, after consulting Malini) without hestitation. What bothered me was the road condition. After last year’s devastation due to fury of floods in Uttarakhand, esp, in the region of Kedarnath, I was a little wary, since Chopta and Tungnath fall in the close vicinity of Kedarnath; afterall, Tungnath is one of five Kedar temples. I contacted GMVN’s offices in Rishikesh and other places to ge…

How to Reach Antarctica?

Traditionally, Indian Scientific Expeditions to Antarctica have been sailing by ship from Goa to reach Antarctica in 3-4 weeks time via Mauritius stopping there for 2-3 days. During its journey it would cross equator and have all the thrills and excitement of a ship cruise. There would be plethora of marine life to see including whales, dolphins, seals etc. The most thrilling, exciting and perhaps anxiety filled time would come when ship enters latitude of 40 degrees south till 55 degrees when it would go rocking and pitching. The ship takes 4-5 days to cross this ‘villainous and roaring forties’, and is very difficult time due to certain risks and severe sea sickness. It is the area of mixing of waters of Indian Ocean and Antarctica. After crossing this, the ship would enter cold water and then the frozen sea with icebergs, ice-sheath, fast ice, packed ice etc.
Lately, the Indian Expeditions have been doing the entire journey partly by air and ship. The team would fly to Johannesburg…