Part V: Revenge of the Birds

Now I think that would have been a better title for Part VI or maybe Part II but I am really not in a mind to be bothered about titles. Especially titles to my blogs. They are mostly irrelevant anyway. And I didn’t just mean the titles.

With the painted storks dominating the entire landscape it was often very easy to miss the other birds that dotted the landscape in no small numbers. Being no expert on birds myself I found it quite difficult to concentrate on anything other than painted storks which seemed to planted all over the horizon. I even saw a painted stork in a very weird pose- almost seeming as if the bird was squatting but I later realised that the bird had legs that were longer than I realised and it was only shielding something protectively- maybe its chick?

Stork Yoga

Some of the other birds that were not to be outdone in terms of visibility or noise were the open-billed storks (I think- I always have a deep misgiving that I am misidentifying the birds!). Although not quite as eye catching as the painted storks, there were large numbers of these as well in their colonies looking after their young ones.

Storks of the second kind!

Then there were the other birds- some of then huddled silently away in the trees that were not occupied by the noisy and pushy storks but yet clearly visible if you looked for them.   There were also the birds that co-existed silently with the storks either in singles or pairs or smaller islands within the islands in the lake. But then there were the others who were so silently and secretly huddled that none but an ardent fan looking for them would spot them- or a completely lucky random person.

You could almost visualise the island dominated and ruled by the storks with the other birds playing ancillary parts such as the nannies, prisoners, visitors etc.,

Painted Stork Prison Warden and Glossy Ibis Prisoners
Painted Stork, Chicks and Pelican (?) Nanny

This night heron (they were a pair) was camouflaged so beautifully within the tree that it took me ages to spot it. (And it was only sheer coincidence that there was a board right next to the place I was standing screaming Night Heron- you could almost visualise it like in the cartoons- Sukanya looks at the bird, looks at the board, looks at the bird, looks at the board and then all of a sudden- hey! wait a minute, I can’t find my car keys!- ha ha!!! No honestly I knew that I was looking at night heron only after I saw the board).

Is it just me or does this Night Heron look like the Madagascar Penguin?
More heron than Madagascar Penguin

It was not that Vedanthangal had birds only on one side of the moat (not like Lost where there was an ultrasonic fence which stopped things from coming over to the other side), there were a variety of birds on the other side as well. These were however the birds that were more common, the birds that one could see everyday in the streets where there now are only crows and pigeons (and only crows if you are completely unlucky!). The tantalising kingfisher, a beautiful pair of unidentified brown and white birds (someone help please!) , a mynah and even a black drango(?)

Waiting for the frog in the field
Unidentified beauties
Black Drango but google thinks its black dragon

However everytime I identified something on the wrong side of the moat and stopped to take a photo, I was instantly surrounded by a mob exclaiming “Oh look! She is shooting something on this side, there must be a bird” and making so much noise in the process that the birds left in a huff. “There are birds people, thousands of birds- on the other side, now will you please leave me alone??????” Easier wished than granted though.

A pair of pond herons also stopped by to say hello from a distance which was much appreciated by me.

Pond Heron raring to go
We had an argument, can you tell?

The treat was when one of the employees of the sanctuary pointed out a spotted owlet to me sitting on a branch. Unfortunately for me by the time I clicked any decent photos of the bird, it had closed its eyes to shut out the sun.

Shutting out the world

By this time the tourists were pouring in through the sanctuary in such waves that we felt it prudent to leave lest there was no more space to walk on the moats.

I can’t believe I am so crap that I forgot that there had to be a Part VI to this tale. It is anyway too late now. Maybe the next time I return to Vedanthangal I will take more photos of monkeys to make a prologue and an epilogue.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Lav says:

    love it love it love it!!!! The owl picture was so freakin cool!!! The pictures are priceless!!! The birds are so colorful – it is truly a bird fan paradise – minus the noisy biped groupies…

    1. sr256 says:

      thank you thank you- good to see you back!

  2. Lav says:

    btw, where the squabbling pond herons sisters? 😉

    1. sr256 says:

      Sisters? Dunno. Siblings? Maybe!

  3. Nirmala says:

    Loved this too. (Cant you for my sake,add a part vi ?) Pictures were wonderful.Very aptly following the narrative ,as usual. You have a way,keep it up.

    1. sr256 says:

      Coming up! Except its not Part VI.

  4. lav says:

    maybe one of the heron sisters ( gotta be ..when was the last time you heard of sqabbling siblings..even though it sounds alliterative) can’t spell were correctly…:)

  5. Aarti says:

    Wow, lovely collection of birds

    The unidentified pair are Treepies.. 🙂

    1. sr256 says:

      Thanks I never thought I’d find their names

  6. brad says:

    amazing pics. next time i come to chennai, you are taking me there, young lady!

    1. sr256 says:

      The birds are there only between october and february

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