Thursday, April 29, 2010

Apartment on the Farm

With the population burgeoning finding living spaces is getting more difficult every passing day and soaring real estate prices don't help either. I thought that was a problem for us humans till I ran across some pretty determined feathered folk fighting for the best spot.

Place: Nallepilly, Palakkad District, Kerala, India

It was sometime in late February and I hadn't been to my uncle's farm for ages. It was the season for the ponds to fill with all sorts of visitors so I carried my gear along hoping for some nice exposures.

The ponds were rather disappointing and so were the paddy fields. Maybe my timing was wrong but I only came across the regulars; chestnut headed bee eaters, moorhens, jacana's and cormorants.

I returned despondently to my uncles house. I had lugged 10kgs of gear for nothing. Leaving everything in the house except my old faithful E3 I walked out to the cow sheds. There used to be some awesome spiders in the bamboo near the haystack. Then I noticed this barbet sitting on the "kotka puli" tree.

It had something clamped in it's beak and didn't seem keen on swallowing it. Something was brewing. I gave up the spider chase and withdrew into the cow shed. After a few minutes of looking around it turned in the opposite direction and took off. Destination: hole in the wall!! A dead coconut tree.

One moment it was there, the next it simply disappeared.

A few seconds later pandemonium!! Two mynas appeared on the tree and flapped around the place the barbet disappeared.

Seeing the commotion two parrots appeared out of nowhere, shooed the mynas away, and perched themselves on the tree looking really agitated.
One kept guard while the other went around the tree to make sure the mynas were nowhere.

A moment later another came flying to a point lower down on the tree. There was a large opening into which it jumped in dexterously.

It seemed to be ensuring that there were no illegal encroacher in it's home on the old coconut tree.

To give you the perspective. Look at the entire tree.

It's a community in there. I wonder who else  was there in that tall "skyscraper".

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