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Yellow for Y?
Yellow bird?
Even closer.
Yellow-fronted Canary?
Wow, you are getting better at this.


They were flitting from branch to branch of the Casuarina Trees next to the seaside restaurant, little yellow bits of fluff, or so it seemed to me from down below, where I was stretching my neck and straining my eyes looking up at them. Please sit still for a while, I told them in my mind. Please, please, please. My neck is hurting too much and my arms too are feeling the effort.

May be they heard me, for they condescended to briefly stop fidgeting, enough for me to take a couple of pictures. Thank you, little bit of yellow fluffs, I told them, again silently, in my mind. Not that anyone would have heard me. There seemed to be no one about. It was too early for the restaurant to open. There was just this lone woman in the distance, sweeping away the previous night’s rubbish off the beach premises. A couple of early morning walkers passed me on their way to their cottage.

The sun was already up. The sky and the sea were a beautiful aching blue. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could be sleeping in on such a glorious morning, especially considering it was our last day in Mauritius. Besides, how could I have captured the Yellow-fronted Canaries if I had stayed in? And it had been my first sighting of them too. So it was way more important than sleep.

The Yellow-fronted Canary (Crithagra mozambica), also called the Yellow-eyed Canary, belongs to the finch family. It’s underside is bright yellow, and was what had caught my attention while looking up at the tree. The bird was busy pecking at the seeds. Or may be there had been tiny insects of interest to it.

After reaching home, I read up more on the little bird. This song bird, I learnt, is a resident breeder in Africa, but was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, Puerto Rico and Mauritius. Lucky for me, that last one! I remember its song still, the high-pitched warbling that goes zee-zeree-chereeo. It has been three years now since that trip. But I can still see the little yellow fluffs in my mind’s eyes, playing tag on the tall Casuarina Tree, against the blue sky.

Holding on
Balancing act
Giving me the eye

© Shail Mohan 2020