Of Birds and the Bee

When Bee says he is “bird-watching”, he means he is watching our feathered friends- real avian  creatures. Now, that is good news for the wife, for not only does he spot birds with hawk-like precision, he is also good at clicking beautiful pictures of all the birds he claims to be watching 😉

His new-found love of watching birds saw us travel from the Western-most corner of the country at the Rann of Kutch, to the Eastern Coast of Odisha – in the backwaters of India’s largest Salt water Chilika lake. Each picture he clicked, has a story to go with it….

One of the first signs of the gradual increase in his interest for birds was when we were in Kuala  Lumpur. On the second day after landing in the Malaysian capital, Bee suggested we visit the “Kuala Lumpur Bird Park” As the day  wore on , I figured that the birds had been taking centre-stage in my pictures (yes, pics of me)!!!

Stealing the show- The Pelican & Me

With the day drawing to a close, Bee was still energetic- still running about the place looking for birds on the prowl. It was at this time that he spotted a “mommy-baby” duo of the peacock family making their way through the undergrowth.

A pea-hen guides her chick back home, as the day draws to a close

We left Kuala- Lumpur- Bee, happy with the birds he had sighted; and Me…. well, I was a little concerned with his enthusiasm for the feathered ones.

Back at home, we were visiting a friend one weekend. Her room-mate and she had been away for a week and on returning, found a bird nesting in the middle of their living room! The mommy-bird had laid a couple of eggs and was pretty much at home in their living quarters. When Bee & I arrived, they showed us their “trespasser” friend – who seemed very accustomed to the girls, but a little wary of us visitors.

Bee was enthralled at the prospect of watching a little bird being born !! Starting that day, we visited this friend’s place every evening after work, “so she can get used to me as well” was Bee’s line of thought. [ Incidentally, this friend also writes by the name “girlsonthemove” on WP] . Then one day, the miracle happened! All four of us were ecstatic – hearing the tiny chirps fill the room. That day, we realized that mommy animals and mommy birds are extremely, fiercely protective of their little ones! The bird, who had been nonchalant of our presence for weeks, was now a demon in disguise- screeching warnings at us, if we dared approach her nest.

Bee never really got to see the chicks, and the only pic we managed to snap was mommy sitting protectively on her nest, not allowing anyone so much as a peek inside 🙂 🙂 🙂

Mommy- Bulbul looks out for her babies, as we play a waiting game of who blinks first… She won hands down!

Earlier this year, we planned a trip to one of better kept secret backwaters of the Chilika Lake in Odisha- Mangaljodi. Among bird-watchers and documentary film-makers, Mangaljodi is a haven of beauty and peace. Hidden away from the regular tourist routes, it can be reached by taking a slightly concealed turn from the state highway. A few kilometers through the country roads, and one can start getting glimpses of various avian species along the path.

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The major attraction, however, was a boat ride through the backwaters. Each boat can seat between 5 to 6 adults, and is paddled using a long bamboo pole from the rear end. The  advantage of  the boats is the silent operation- which mean that we were able to get extremely closer to the birds in their natural habitat.

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The silent boats meant we could creep right up to the birds in their natural habitats

Bee was ecstatic at the prospect! He made sure we  stopped  in the middle of the ride, trying to coax a bird to come closer.

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All that “bird-watching” has left Bee sweaty but ecstatic!

That was not really the end of our avian trial…

Closer home, he is constantly on the look out for birds- whether they are soaring high up in the air….

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Bird of prey- flyin’ high

Or, they are trying to cloak themselves in the dark of the night…

One of a pair of spotted owlets that calls our colony home

If truth be told, Bee’s love of our feathered friends has yielded us some very funny moments, with some very good photographs! Needless to say- I am pretty proud of him 😉





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