Most mornings I hear her call out. Or it could well be ‘him’ calling. White-throated Kingfisher males and females being identical, I have no idea which it was, so, I’ll stick with the ‘her’.
The other day, she was perched on the electric cable right opposite my balcony. She wants me to click her, I decided, and quickly obliged. At least, I tried. But she was nowhere in the picture I clicked. All I had for my efforts was the photo of a cable devoid of any birds. She had dived down in a brilliant splash of blue. Having deftly caught her prey, a dragonfly, she was soon back on the cable, feasting on it.
The last time I caught another Kingfisher with a worm in his beak, I had promptly invited him to do a guest post here at Shail’s Nest. He couldn’t stop harping on the fact that there was no nest here, and complained that the name of my blog was quite misleading. Anyways…
This one, I notice, is a fearless bird. On most afternoons that I take Luci for a walk, i find her sitting on the wall on one side. Even when I get close, and am mere feet away, she does not bother to fly away. Only when I am realy close does she take flight. And then she chooses to sit on the low branch of the guava tree, or the jatropha bush, and looks down at us with her head tilted to one side. While I am thrilled at this show of fearlessness and familiarity, Luci is none too pleased.
On some days, the bird can be found on the wall of my neighbor’s terrace. She eyes me briefly. But her concentration is on the insects. At the right time she dives and returns successful. On other days she is on our terrace, unmindful of the fact that I am walking there. I am careful not to raise my hand to take a picture with my phone. Any movement of the sort and she flies away.
Today morning she was once again on the cable. She had someone with her. A handsome fellow. She had apparently found her Valentine. He flicked his tail and opened his wings briefly at intervals, also looked up showing off his white throat. Courtship was on. Was he telling her he’d love her forever? Will she buy into it? The coming days will reveal all.
© Shail Mohan 2020