It is monsoon here in Maharashtra and the city is as green as it can possibly be. Nights are pleasant and cool and I have my morning visitors in larger than usual numbers – the feathered kind.
A pair of bulbuls comes religiously to my living room window for food. They like the berries on the Asparagus creeping up on the grill and if I do not rustle the newspaper they do not see me behind the sheer curtains and begin pecking at the red berries. I feel so honoured!
Not both of them of course, one always holds back a bit and they take turns at the berries.
Occasionally the hornbills come, craning their long necks and staring out with the large ringed eyes. Yup. They do stare. I guess the rings round their eyes are responsible for that even if they don’t mean to. Not that they stare at me, they have better and more survival linked stuff to watch out for - like the alert and menacing kite birds that frequent the skies above them. Hence the neck craning and staring - always peering at something distant.
Kites are regular in that area and so make their disapproval for these visitors quite clear –often.
Hornbills make weird sounds when are talking amongst themselves. It is so like snakes gurgling – that is if ever snakes were to gurgle they would sound just like them. I am thinking snakes because that’s how their necks look – snake- like. Not when they are just sitting quiet on the branches of Jacaranda. It is when they want to call, they go lifting their head and whoa! There is quite a length of the neck under it all that and it all slowly uncoils! Very amusing to see that!
Then there are Sunbirds and Weavers and of course the ever present Crow Pheasant or 'Bharadwaj'.
Crows, pigeons and sparrows were part of my childhood back in Mumbai but here in Pune I rarely see a sparrow and only occasionally crows. Population of pigeons is high just as in Mumbai.
At home we have an African love bird - supposed to be hailing from Madagascar. Not a pet but a rescued pet. Someone lost it, my kids found it and since we hail from a family that takes pride in animal rescue we had to keep it to help it stay alive.
There is a whole story about that bird named “Melo Melo” but that is for some other time.
For now some pix for my readers to know what birds I am talking about. Bulbul, Hornbill and the Sunbird - in that order.