Sunday, June 24, 2012

The singing tree

Grey Treepie

We are in the depths of exam mode, meaning I have spent more that 42 hours marking papers, since last Monday.  In addition to exam supervision that is a heap of work in anyone’s book and I am sorry to say the task is less than half over. With meetings still happening, students still seeking clarification before they take exams and wanting immediate gratification about the answers they have written once they exit the exam hall, there has been little time for anything else but exam fever for the last 7 days. Another 4 days and the long awaited summer break will be here but before then ….

Common Hoopoe

The weekend has come to a close and the blog I had intended to post sometime Friday is now well overdue….. Enough complaining….

Red-vented Bulbul

One of the greatest joys here is waking up to birdsong almost every morning. We are blessed with a raging river and paddy fields just outside our windows and the amount of birdlife that transits through this zone is amazing.

Blue-throated Barbet

Directly outside our bedroom window is a barren tree branch that affords birds a clear view over the steep cliff face and the river below and it is therefore a favourite resting place for a wide variety of species. We have taken to calling it the singing tree. We are fortunate to wake up to birdsong most mornings. Even when cloud cover and thick fog conceal the beauty of the mountains the birds entertain us with their antics and musicality.

Crested Bunting

A beautiful Common Kestrel 

Of course it is not the only clear view we get of the bird life but it is certainly the most convenient and many a morning I am distracted by the calls and activities of vocal and endearing species, seemingly singing for the sheer pleasure it brings them.

Black Bulbul singing its beak off!

 Earlier this week I lamented that the one power tiller that plies the fields here in this frantic planting season would scare away our morning serenade, and just to prove me wrong our friend the White-throated Kingfisher made an instant appearance, the moment the machine was turned off.

White-throated Kingfisher

Our regular walks also provide us with ample bird watching opportunities and the method we employ to identify the species we have spotted is to photograph them so we can look up our book or the net on our return home.

Himalayan Bulbul

We are now able to identify the calls of several local species and there are still an elusive few that we hear but never see. 

Cattle Egrets

These days we don't seem to get too much time to smell the flowers but we do find a few moments almost every day to appreciate the melodies.

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