Friday, October 26, 2012

Cinderella

It was a grey, damp evening. But, I had no reason to complain. The friendly neighborhood Shaheen Falcon was visiting again and kept me occupied for more than an hour. 

Ten minutes to midnight, I was preparing to sleep when I saw a mix of brown and white fluttering at the edge of the balcony railing. I assumed it was a bat, but the sound of the wings didn't seem like that of a bat's. The fluttering stopped in a few seconds and the mysterious visitor settled down. It was very dark outside, the moon wasn't out in full force yet, and the silhouette hinted at a little bird. I couldn't risk turning the light on, any quick movement could scare the bird. I ran away to fetch my camera and out of desperation, used the on-body flash to take a few record shots first. 




The camera revealed a very pretty little bird with rich brown-black markings on the wings and dark scales on the inner parts of the body and around the legs. Going by the size, shape, posture and the beak, I deduced that it could be a female/juvenile of a Robin/Thrush/Flycatcher, most probably in migration.

The bird was restless initially. It hopped around a couple of times, with its tail slightly up, making a faint krrrk-krrrkk call. It was a little skittish too, courtesy some noisy street dogs far below in the neighboring street. I was hoping that it would find a nice, cozy place and stay the night. And it did, like this ->




I watched it for 40 odd minutes and while the bird dozed away (I am guessing it did) I scouted for images and illustrations to try and put a name to the face. I sent images of the bird to friends and hit the sack. It was only the next morning when I was able to finally ID the bird, it was a female Blue-capped Rock Thrush (Monticola cinclorhynchus). The excessive markings on the wings and darker scales could be a result of long flights in the migratory season. When I checked in the morning, as expected, the bird had left.

Divya, Sridhar, Karthik and Shyamal - Thank you for your help!


Until next time, when Cinderella hopefully visits me again :-)

7 comments:

  1. Hi,

    It is nice to read your unexpected encounter with the winged visitor. It is also very interesting to see that you are not indulging in unethical practices to photograph birds. Thanks for the write up.

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