Lifescapes Gallery

11 / Jul / 2012
The Sky Diver of Kabini!
Little Grebe, Kabini Photograph: Kiran Poonacha Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

The Sky Diver of Kabini!

He’s a bird. But someone forgot to tell him that. For, the Little Grebe prefers to cruise well below where other birds of a feather flock together. A strong swimmer who’s much happier wetting his beak during his daily laps of the Kabini, one suspects that he often forgets he can fly. To prove this point, just startle him and he’ll disappear in a jiffy. You, the lay observer, will probably wonder where he’s vanished, and try to spot him high up in the forested canopy. We, however, would advise you to look lower, for this aviator prefers to dive underwater when danger threatens. If you’re patient, you’ll see his periscope emerge, scanning the horizon for any visible danger. If you don’t fall within that category (chances are, you won’t, for he’s far less wary than his suspicious duck neighbours), he’ll be back practising his breaststroke. You might also see him dive under, without warning, and might be tempted to think, considering his Genus name Tachybaptus (the same root as in baptism) that he’s found religion and gone for an impromptu holy dip. But, what he’s found answers a more prosaic concern: hunger! When he resurfaces, it’s often with a succulent fish in his bill, which would make for a tacky baptism ritual indeed. This bird also does a roaring side business as a ferryman. It isn’t uncommon to see a Little Grebe carrying some littler Grebes (mostly his own) on his back, ferrying them to school (a ‘school’ of fish…get it?) and back. You may also, occasionally, hear faint echoes of horses whinnying at the waterfront: you aren’t hallucinating… it’s just his unique breeding call. But then, sounding like the Cavalry is nothing out of the ordinary for the Airman who prefers the Navy!

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 6:15 am and is filed under Birds, Kabini . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. Emile says:

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
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  2. Consuelo says:

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s
    both equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the
    nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something relating to this.

    Awesome story it is definitely. We have been looking for this content.

    Excellent story once again! I am looking forward for your next post:)

  3. Kiran Poonacha says:

    Thank you dear friends for your kind words of appreciation and encouragement.. Regards, Kiran.

  4. Kiran Poonacha says:

    Dear Rajesh,

    Great writing indeed brother. Sometimes when I am processing some of the images, I think to myself ” rajesh will sure have a ball writing about this” and you never disappoint. Thank you, cheers Kiran…

    • Rajesh Ramaswamy says:

      Thanx for the inspiration Kiran….like i said earlier, when confronted with images like these, I do next to nothing….the words write themselves. Cheers and keep pushing those boundaries:-)

  5. Sameer R. Rao says:

    Perfect photo of this adorable little bird, the exposure is very good.

  6. Mich says:

    Terrific- many taaliyas to the team.

    • Rajesh Ramaswamy says:

      Thank you so much Mich…the team, by the way, also includes the many thousands who came here as guests and departed as friends. When we started Lifescapes, we didn’t expect it to run so long, and keep the audience interest this well, and it wouldn’t have been possible without patrons like you. Keep supporting us. And drop in every now and then:-)

  7. Maneesh Desai says:

    Full Marks to language of the Essay, apart from vivid photograph.

    • Rajesh Ramaswamy says:

      Thanx Maneesh…again, like I keep saying, it is the sheer bounty of nature at Coorg and Kabini that inspire the photographers, and the words just happen to write themselves. But again, thanx so much for the apreciation….do drop in at Kabini soon, and you’ll know what I mean:-)

  8. Het Choksey says:

    We visited Orange county, Kabini last year between 12-15 August and we had an experience of a lifetime. Perhaps, the best nature country I have ever been to with my parents. Indeed, the elephant bathing, wild life safari and bird spotting were thoroughly enjoyed by me. Orange County itself is so well maintained and developed that I would look forward to visiting Kabini once every year.

    • Rajesh Ramaswamy says:

      Dear Het, we’re so happy to hear these words. We’re so looking forward to having you over this August as well. Hmmm… that isn’t too far away. So please put a post-it on your screen and remember to make your bookings early…there’re some friends waiting in the jungles:-)

  9. kuppulakshmi krishnamoorthy says:

    Thank you for sending me all these newsletters! I must say that being a communication skills trainer myself, I am very impressed with the language skills of whoever is writing all of this! My husband and I had visited Kabini in September of 2010, and we can’t wait to get back there. Everything about Orange County – Kabini has impressed us. Not to stray away from the topic – if YOU are the one who is writing about all these about flora and fauna of Kabini – YOU HAVE A FAN IN ME!

    • Rajesh Ramaswamy says:

      Thanx so much Kuppulakshmi…you just made my day (all 365 days, actually…lol). Language, I believe, is never an end in itself, and is irrelevant if it doesn’t draw the reader to a greater engagement with the subject. To that extant I’m glad we’ve been able to get you thinking about Kabini, and we’d love to have you back asap. But then, you should be an ‘Equal Opportunities Traveller’, and try out our Coorg property:-))))). We guarantee, it’ll give you a problem in the future: Coorg or Kabini, Coorg or Kabini….:D

  10. Anu Elisha says:

    Hi!
    I would like to complement whoever is the one who does the write-ups for the photographs. He/she is a very talented writer, and each delightful piece put forth is a joy to read. Kudos! 😉

    • Rajesh Ramaswamy says:

      It’s a ‘HE’ Anu…lol…and thank you very much. Guess that’s the least the writer can do when given such wonderful images to set a story to. It’s a great team here… a happy joint family of friends, and that, btw, includes all our patrons. Thanx for being there, and continuing to support the initiative:-)

  11. s.swaminathan says:

    Great effort….I am interested in such forwards…..

  12. Sanjeeta Mazumdar says:

    Loved the piece …. Thk u

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