Nature

Lark, hark…

Ashy-crowned sparrow lark

Lark – a bit smug, this one, the Ashy-crowned sparrow lark, especially the male, the missus still (relatively) demure and consenting… flitting around open fields looking for grains or reaping the rich entomological harvest of the monsoons… quintessentially restive, forever grouchy… happy as a lark? na… not this one for sure…

Ashy-crowned sparrow lark

For Shakespeare and Chaucer, the lark ushers in dawn… for Shelley, a singer par excellence and Wordsworth’s pilgrim of the sky… taking note, Dante duly launches it into the heavens… a rather European fetish for the songbird… up and running with the lark, none of that plays out for me though, and I really can’t blame the bird… one doesn’t really dole out a melody for a persistent runner behaving like a stalker, even if adventitious… although ‘tis one of the few birds that sing in flight, but not while in fright maybe… although one must admit that most of their songs get drowned out by unnecessarily jumpy lapwings…

Ashy-crowned sparrow lark

Perennial crouchers these sparrow larks are, pecking away leisurely twixt the grass as one lays poised in anticipation, and slyly running across the open field into the next hideout the moment one takes their eyes off… compared to them, the crested larks and pipits seem sluggish… sometimes one wonders if they are actually fearful or just smug, deeming human observations beneath their dignity, and looking over the shoulder more in than diffidence…

Ashy-crowned sparrow lark

They are those forever busy ones in the avifaunal realm, seldom seen wasting time on a perch despite being a passerine, preferring to weave their life story into an endless series of pecks… looking more sparrow than lark, there’s that identity crisis too (especially for the females, almost indistinguishable from a female house sparrow), probably something that makes them labour on untiringly, akin to migrants…

Bird

Musing on Ashy-crowned sparrow larks, Noida, Uttar Pradesh

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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