Monday, April 9, 2007

Birdie Num Num

I do not know the name of that bird, but now that I have a picture of it, I stop random strangers and ask - do you know what this bird is? And please don't tell me it's a cornish hen like on the menu at the restaurant last night (something about its stolid air just makes me feel like it's resigned to being eaten). Although this belated vegetarian style pang is perhaps understandable, it has not yet been laid to rest by internet research. The only pictures of Cornish hens I could find so far were these.



Not reassuring. Or for that matter, enlightening.





Ok, so you've all been laughing and shaking your heads about my obssession with the birdies. First of all I want to say that there are birdies outside my windown in Andheri (E). I have seen parrots playing like they were AWOL from miniature paintings. I have seen mynahs, egrets and once a kingfisher. But these are different. I don't care if they're common as grass. I have never seen them before. Not even in pictures (what kind of weirdos look at pictures of birds?! No don't tell me, I'd like to hold on to my innocence till I can). Anyway, they're everywhere, and yes, it's been nice to wake up to so many different bird sounds.

But it would have stayed a strictly audio exercise in keeping with my lazy ways, if one morning, as I stood gloomily brushing my teeth and examining my ever aging face in the sunlit mirror, I hadn't suddenly seen a little flash of red in the corner of my eye. That's great I thought, now I'm haemorrhaging from the cold. And. I saw. On a branch outside the bathroom window. A bright red bird. All compacted red and round and blazing and amazing. It was a cardinal bird. It's very common they say, but I had never seen one. And then, another one came and sat next to it, except not completely red. A boy and girl cardinal bird.
So I found it beautiful. So sue me. Take away my urban dweller visa and see if I care.
From that day to now, I've been stalking the cardinal to get a picture. The cardinal knows this. It suddenly appears out of nowhere and perches calmly through all my frantic power on, zoom in, where is it where is it fumblings and when I am all set, it flies away.

I have seen something called the Townsend's Warbler - it's bright yellow like a LimeWire icon. I'm not even going to pretend I can get a picture of it because it's teeny tiny and flies very fast. But the cardinal - that bird is playing with me so I'll find one or die trying.

In the meanwhile I have seen many other, lovely birds. Am a bit intoxicated by all their jewel colours. Curtains twitch nervously as I stand outside people's gardens holding my breath and willing a bird to come two steps closer so I can take a picture. I know, I look like I am nuts while I do this. I never said I wasn't. OK, I admit, I've even begun to wait for E.Vernon Laux on the radio. Although, no, I don't think this is going to be happening to me anytime soon. For now I am quite happy to be waiting around looking at whatever average bird comes my way, like The Common Grackle.


And Robins


And seagulls
At dusk you see seagulls in hordes across the water. They seem to fly and then fall, like Dust. It's like they fall down onto the water. I would have gone closer to see what it is exactly, but that bridge is part of US Coast Guard territory and entry is forbidden.

And ducks and geese

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