Nature

Thrush, threshing…

Scaly thrush (Zoothera dauma)

The thrush is the busy bee of forest beds, its careful rustles comprising the softer notes in the symphonies of coniferous canopies… in the faunal domain, there are some that aim to dazzle and some that excel at inconspicuousness… the thrush belongs to the latter, preferring to ply its trade in the infinite anonymity of the woods, the dark and brooding kind…

Scaly thrush (Zoothera dauma)

I wasn’t having much luck birding, the forest was overflowing with sounds but unrelenting when it came to visuals… the woodpeckers were scaling new heights on the pines while the tits were adamant about staying put inside pockets of moss hanging off the oaks, a muntjac made eye contact but slunk away in a jiffy…

Scaly thrush (Zoothera dauma)

Hence ‘twas a saving grace, this scaly thrush, as it appeared round the bend, I was literally making the car crawl in first gear so there was no danger of startling the bird, for once these thrushes disappear into the thicket it’s an ordeal to spot let alone photograph them for a novice like me… a few years ago while trekking to Bramhatal I chased a rustle for almost half an hour before a spotted laughing thrush finally relented to a peekaboo…

Scaly thrush (Zoothera dauma)

Cutting off the engine, I settled back in the seat, mesmerized by its distinct, and somewhat funny gait, bobbing side-to-side and spreading its tailfeathers while keeping the head still… a belly dancer, one muses… maybe the worms die of laughter before it makes a meal out of them… ‘twas either surprisingly gregarious or too hungry to bother, this one, for I managed to creep out of the car and it didn’t even turn in my direction once, and continued foraging with absolute nonchalance…

Scaly thrush (Zoothera dauma)

There is a tinge of melancholy, but not much, in watching the thrush rummage through industriously, assembling a meal one morsel at a time… there’s no breath-taking skill, no pizzazz, just some persistent rigour with a pinch of ingenuity thrown in… a peasantry that has no use for the red tape of the bourgeois…

Birding in Himalaya

It turned out be a (rather irritating) plum-headed parakeet and not me whose seemingly pointless cacophony irked the thrush and coaxed it back into its reticent self, but not before it ushered in the golden hour for me, the cold blue hues of the afternoon melting into the sunlight pouring through oaks and rhododendrons…

Birding in Himalaya

Musings on a Scaly thrush (Zoothera dauma), thandi sadak, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand

Author: Parth Joshi

Mountain lover ⛰️ | Hiker 🥾| Runner 🏃‍♂️ | Cyclist 🚴 | Photographer 📷... allured by the outdoors, the author is a quintessential lost soul craving for the outdoors while suffering in a desk job...

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