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Bird artist’s heaven…India

May 12, 2011

Purple Rumped Sunbirds

My first introduction to the birds of India couldn’t have been better, a Brahminy Kite soaring over the Mandovi River bridge. The rust red wigs contrasting with a white body was spectacular. Unknown to me at the time, this was going to be a fortnight of birding that would be branded on my mind forever.  I would never had thought I would be painting  Purple Rumped Sunbirds… wow. The best thing for me, was that I could sit on the verandah of my apartment and get some tropical sun as well as appreciating the exotic bird life that seemed to be appearing around every corner of a local garden. I was fortunate in that the tropical garden was tendered by a gardener who dutifully watered the garden every morning before six a.m. and again in the evening. I’m sure this source of clean water was the reason this garden attracted a great number of the birds, ideal  for me as I  watched and sketched the Indian bird life  whilst soaking up the sun.

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Purple Rumped Sunbirds

Common Tailor and Racket Tailed Drongo’s

Within minutes of the gardener disappearing the regular occupants seemed to emerged in a somewhat orderly fashion, first a Common Tailor bird and then several pairs of Purple Rumped Sunbirds. I can only say you will never be underwhelmed when you first see a pair of Greater Racket Tailed Drongo’s, whose presence is unmistakably by their long black tails often seen in haute couture hats than on the birds themselves. I found India  just left ones artistic mind running wild. A sensory overload of new experiences, of tropical birds and climate, strong sunlight with hard shadows,dappled groves and strange noises all added o the theatre of Nature.

I made it a daily event to watch the garden, and every day at about 7am when there would be a short interlude. The birds would disappear when a rather large and loud hooter sounded,announcing the arrival! of the bread man! He would wheel his bicycle in to the garden overladen  with fresh bread. Once business had been conducted, and the family had all dispatched themselves off to work, the garden recaptured its tranquility and the bird life returned.

Black Shouldered Kite

The tranquility was soon interrupted as a Black Shouldered Kite made a clattering entrance through the palm trees, unfortunately I wasn’t aware of its intended quarry, but it found itself unceremoniously hanging with one leg gripping on a palm frond. Then it quickly gathered itself together and made itself scarce. All this before 8.30 in the morning, just made the day ahead  an adventure in itself, I hope I get to visit India again.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 21, 2011 17:24

    I look forward to seeing more paintings from your Indian vacation.

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