Plumbeous and its riverine plump

Plumbeous redstart

Plumbeous redstarts endear one with their restiveness, nudging and ingesting hapless insects trying to fathom fast flowing waters… a songbird punctuating rivers and streams, it darts around from boulder to boulder tracing parabolas in the air, adding to the din of the river with short, shrill calls and animating the surroundings with a flurry of activity…

Birds of India

I was after the brown dipper, and partaking in the bias of ignoring birds that are ubiquitous, wasn’t really expending any effort into tracking the movements of a solitary male plumbeous redstart going back and forth over a half a mile stretch of Falchan river, but then the dipper wasn’t being very forthcoming, so with a ‘might as well’, I started following the bird for a bit around it’s chores… and a predictable, rhythmic pattern of a foray it turned out to be… soaking in the winter sun on large mid-river boulders for a while, it flew down towards smaller rocks near the water to carry out a few sallies for flies before flying back up to a large rock to bask in the sun again, shaking water off the tips of its feathers and rectal bristles…

Plumbeous redstart

This is a species that shows sexual dimorphism, so while the female has to be content with a pale grey plumage, the male struts around in slate blue overalls with a striking orange tail that it fans quite often… once in a while the male I was fixated upon disappeared into the thicket, but always returned to the riverside perch in no time, trying to make the most out of the sun as it combed through the frigid waters… as much as I’d have liked to continue stalking the little ball of blue, the dipper came flying in and had me cantering along the river in its wake…

Plumbeous redstart

Plumbeous redstart (Phoenicurus fuliginosus) male, Tirthan valley, Himachal Pradesh

Author: Parth Joshi

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

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