August 16, 2014



August began on a good note as all of us, except Pappa headed to our native town of Murdeshwar. We were there primarily to attend Vaini's (my maternal grand-mom's) third death anniversary, which happened to fall on the first day of the month - a Friday. The plan was to leave for Gokarna (Link) the next morning and spend the weekend on the Om Beach, even as Mom and my cousin Poonam headed back to Bengaluru. Not so surprisingly, I was thrilled to be back on the coast in spite of the fact that it was raining cats and dogs. Another reason for all the excitement was that I was dying to use my Canon SX50HS after a very long time. It had been months since I had not gone out on any birding sessions with our new house, election coverage on the blog and official work occupying much of my time. Monsoon is a good time to spot birds in this part of the world; actually you will find several different kinds of Aves on the Arabian coast throughout the year, however the probability of finding rare ones during rains is high.

I will begin this series with one of my favorite birds - the House Sparrow (Wiki Link). Though they have become extremely difficult to find in our cities, these 'small packets of joys' can still be found in sizable numbers in our towns and villages. In Murdeshwar, they are generally seen in groups of up to 5 individuals on wires, compound walls and most commonly near shutter boxes of shops where they breed their young. While they may not be attractive to the eyes, watching them go about their daily routine is such a pleasure. And yes, there is no better way to start your day than listening to the chirping sounds of these little creatures. Isn't it sad, that sparrow - a bird that has been so closely associated with human culture across the world has declined so dramatically over the years... While ornithologists and experts may still be analyzing the root cause of the problem, I hope that the sparrows make a grand come back in our cities too.

Other posts in this series:
Murdeshwar Diaries: Aug'14 - Part I - Part IV (Link)