I was woken up in the morning by the whistles and chuckles of birds that were not visible to me in the first instance. On scrutiny of my backyard forest, I got a glimpse of a flock of brown backed birds with black ‘necklaces’. They were scurrying through the thick undergrowth. Though I maintained my gaze into the sparsely lighted forest with leaves of different shades of green crisscrossed with trunks and offshoots of varying thickness I couldn’t identify them. Before I could do so they took wings afar and vanished.
By late morning I happened to spot one of them alighted for a siesta on a branch . With more details of the bird, such as white supercilium above the eyes, black eye ring …. coming into light, I was able to recognize the bird then and take snaps. My reference book for birds suggested the name Lesser Necklaced laughing thrush. ‘Laughing’? In retrospect, I recalled the cacophony of chuckling sounds I heard previously. Subsequently, I drew the bird on a paper with oil pastel.
I saw the cover page picture of the book Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Richard Grimmet, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp and got impressed by the art work by John Cox. I tried doing a pencil sketch of Coppersmith Barbet a frugivorous bird found in wooded areas. I know that the quality of the picture is nowhere near that of the original picture or the magnificient beauty of the bird in real.
I took to color pencil drawing as I noticed its de- stressing powers and as an ideal way to break the monotony of my routine works.
We can see rock pigeons in villages and towns comfortable with human presence, feeding on insects and grains. Their grey body with black bars across wings, green and pink iridescence on neck are alluring. They feed usually in flocks and roost on roof tops or window shades. It’s entertaining to watch them bobbing heads, preening feathers and gathering twigs during nesting season. Their deep cutrr-coo calls and sounds of their flapping wings are one amid varied sounds that urban dwellers hear all day except that birds sounds are calming to our senses.
An Alexandrine parakeet perched on the highest point of a deciduous tree after it foraged on wild fruits a short while ago. The enchanting beauty of the parakeet enticed me to try emulating it on a paper.
It’s comparatively large with red beaks, red patch on wings, green feathers,pink collar,black chin stripe,long green tail with blue in the middle and yellow tips against the backdrop of a vast blue sky.
This bird is seen around vegetation close to freshwater pools and after rain. It’s interesting to see how it paces its large yellow feet meticulously picking up insects or worms from the wet soil. Usually calm but noisy with croaky calls during dusk. If disturbed the bird pauses and stops feeding.
A loud whinning call by the black rumped flame backed woodpecker interrupted the calm of the woods in urban area, actively tapping(drumming) on the tree trunks, moving from one branch to another and from one tree to another and as the name suggests looked like a flash of flame amidst the woods.