Ode to a lake unknown

We set out at six – the intrepid trio of G, J and U
En route checking Madivala lake for a pelican or two.
We found a dozen, but alas the lake was quite over-run
With water hyacinth spreading everywhere under the sun,
While of waders and ducks the signs there were none.

spot-billed pelican

Three night herons, a grey, and soon on our way were we
When who should we hear from but a sleep deprived Suvi –
“Felt like birding! where are you planning to head?
Gulakmale again? Lets try out a new place instead.
The CPRF camp nearby holds birding of highest degree”
(Hope they let us in, was the disclaimer unsaid)

So we waited under a tree till her 2-wheeler arrived
(A sneak preview of the snacks was gleefully connived).
Finally we set off again, four now instead of three
Past a lovely, familiar lake (but no jacanas did we see),
Past churches and spires and men drinking coffee.

Pretty soon it was clear that hopelessly lost were we.
Asked some villagers but they all had different theories
About where this army area might possibly be located.
Round and round, but the camp seemed to have dissipated
Until suddenly a gigantic lake appeared unanticipated.

Wire tailed swallows perched peacefully on the wire
Small blue kingfisher set J’s heart racing with desire!
Sunbird parents feeding their babies cute, fat and furry
Choicest of worms were procured and devoured in a hurry
While Uma with her camera went into a clicking flurry.

Little cormorants drying their wings, a solitary darter
Lone river tern appeared, and later did its part(n)er
On the far bank a pair of storks – painted or open-bill?
Pied kingfisher did a fly-past, oh what a thrill!
Great tits feeding furiously, hopping and never still.

A singing iora did we glimpse (common not Marshall’s)
White-breasted waterhen we IDed by its plaintive calls.
OHB showed briefly, and much longer a Brahminy kite,
Purple heron sighted above, majestic in its flight,
A single red avadavat popped up, to G’s sheer delight.

Baya weavers nest-building, still in breeding plumage,
Massive garbage dump, sad to see egrets in rummage.
Back at the car, a tawny bellied babbler peered about curiously
In the water a tired jewel bug, swimming to shore gloriously
While far off a white throated fantail called out melodiously.

Sunbird parents still hunting, worms picked out juicy and nice,
And for the BULBs* some banana muffins and chips did suffice.
We drunk in the beauty of this lake we had unknowingly hit,
Was not our intended destination but mattered not a bit,
CRPF camp would wait another day (if the authorities permit!)

Pics from Gulakmale:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

* (Bangalore Urban Lady Birders, name courtesy Deponti)

Check out BULBs B.M. Betta adventure here.

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8 Responses to Ode to a lake unknown

  1. Deepa says:

    Greatly enjoyed the verse and the pics;
    I’m so proud of my fellow bulbs (we AREN’T “chicks”!)
    I only wish I’d been there too,
    When such a variety of creatures seem to have come to your view!
    Ladybirds may be tiny creatures
    But Lady-Birders’ talents are…very LARGE features!

  2. bonerpakhi says:

    Deponti! I was sure you would reply in kind (er, verse) and good to see I wasn’t disappointed. 🙂 Looking forward to more BULBs trips with you..

  3. flowergirl says:

    I am so delighted
    that I sighted
    this terrific ode
    in poetic mode.

    Is it our feathered friends, I wonder
    That take us beyond(er)
    prose mundane
    to rhymes insane?!

  4. Jayapadma says:

    and as you bird away
    to your hearts desire
    leave us more ditties to read
    and pictures to admire

    it leaves us quite amused
    amazed and excited
    in short with every post
    we are rather delighted

  5. Uma says:

    And thus is born
    A genre new
    ‘Bird poetry’ I believe
    was long overdue…

  6. ranjeet says:

    bonerpakhi, hey there
    you are a type – indeed rare
    the pics of the pool
    are absolutely cool
    i couldn’t help but stare

  7. ad says:

    the next omar khayyam for sure
    the friend of olden years so pure

  8. Vamsee says:

    This is wonderful. You are on your way to become a full fledged poet. Lovely pictures too.

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