May 15, 2010

Waiting for the watchtower

I was pacing up and down the road in front of my house. Everything was ready, I had woken up by 5 am and was ready to go by 5.15. All my books, binocs, water bottles, paper devices et al were ready. So what was stopping me from going to Okhla Bird Sanctuary.

Disorientation due to slow speed was.

A friend who stays a few kilometers away was to join me and we were to proceed together. He had decided to cycle down to my house, and it turns out, he lost his way because landmarks and turns came much slower than usual (i.e. when he drives). It was an unusual case of disorientation due to slow speed.

Anyway, a half hour delay later we were off. At 6.10 in the morning the freshness in the air and the freshness in the mind is something else altogether. The photographer duo were already there, happily chattering way about this that and the other, and of course settings of their cameras, angles, colour versus black and white and aperture versus speed.

Early morning the bird sanctuary looks pristine and inviting

We went straight for watchtower no. 1. Up till the great Peepal tree, we only saw crows. Once in the grassland after the temple, the air was abuzz with bird songs. There were prinias and babblers everywhere, but that was almost it. A few pied mynas, crows, a pied bushchat or two, and prinias and babblers.

A crow's profile (Copyright Yamini Chandra)

Striated Babbler (as corrected by Ramit, thanks!) in flight (Copyright Yamini Chandra)

As I walked into the grassland following the trail to the watchtower, suddenly there was a disturbance in the tall grass to my left and out came a dog. Earth brown in colour, with liquid hazel eyes and a wistful expression, the dog wordlessly looked at me, and came forward a few steps and then signaled me to follow.

The leader of the pack takes a water break