A pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) without its long pheasant-like tail? Could it be an immature bird? The prominent stripe on the sides of its neck told me that it was indeed a juvenile. It is an unusual species, with the female leaving the care of eggs and hatchlings to the male, while she goes off to find her next mate. I hope to see the female’s elaborate courting behaviour next monsoon.

I was happy to be able to take off from work on a Sunday afternoon in order to drive to Mangalajodi, a village on the banks of the Chilika lake in Odisha. The normal is back with a vengeance. I’m back home for long enough to bung my clothes into washing, fill my case with a clean set of clothes, and go off again. The afternoon on a boat, watching birds at close range was a welcome change of pace.