The common Indian roller

Wildlife watching is frustrating. There are times when the light is just brilliant, the air is particularly clear, and you can see tiny details on branches of far away trees; but there are no birds to be seen. This was such an unfortunate afternoon. We drove out into Kaziranga for our last outing of the trip. The Family was feeling a little ill, and decided to stay in bed. The morning’s haze had disappeared, and the air was cool. Golden light seemed to drip over the whole jungle. The only thing visible was the Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis) which you see in the featured photo.

The roller is a beautiful bird, but you can see it outside of cities very easily. Strangely, I don’t have a good photo, so I take every opportunity to take one. It had light behind it, and the tail was covered, but the colours came out pretty clearly. If it had decided to sit on the other side of the trail, then in the better light you would be able to see the lilac feathers in the throat more clearly. You need to peer at the photo rather closely to notice that there is a change in colour between the breast and neck. What you can see very clearly are the talons.

The bird sat quietly. It wasn’t interested in giving us a demonstration of the wonderful acrobatics which it gets its name from. We were in the middle of the breeding season, so perhaps it had found a mate. But there was no nest in sight. We moved on through the seemingly empty jungle.

Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

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