Wintering in India

Central Asian Flyway is open for business:


Cranes on the way:


Demoiselle cranes in Khichan, Rajasthan

Demoiselle cranes in Khichan, Rajasthan


Birder alert:

E-note from Prathamesh Desai to members of Delhibird, 6 October 2014. More info at

‘The migration season has arrived and so the birds…

Following are birds sighted at Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Agra ,UP  from
July – October 2014

Eurasian Hobby
Great White Pelican
Northern Pintail
Common Teal
Common Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Common Redshank
**Blyth’s Reed Warbler **
Greenish Warbler
Black Redstart

Waiting for Demoiselle Crane migration and flycatchers…’

**Blyth’s Reed Warbler**:

Listen to and watch at

Poet, Lover, Birdwatcher

To force the pace and never to be still
Is not the way of those who study birds
Or women. The best poets wait for words.
The hunt is not an exercise of will
But patient love relaxing on a hill
To note the movement of a timid wing;
Until the one who knows that she is loved
No longer waits but risks surrendering –
In this the poet finds his moral proved,
Who never spoke before his spirit moved.

The slow movement seems, somehow, to say much more.
To watch the rarer birds, you have to go
Along deserted lanes and where the rivers flow
In silence near the source, or by a shore
Remote and thorny like the heart’s dark floor.
And there the women slowly turn around,
Not only flesh and bone but myths of light
With darkness at the core, and sense is found
But poets lost in crooked, restless flight,
The deaf can hear, the blind recover sight.

by Nissim Ezekiel (1924-2004)

Eyes on the skies

Enraptured by raptors:

Oriental honey buzzards high in the sky over Singapore

Oriental honey buzzards high in the sky over Singapore

Photo by Tan GC at wildbirdSingapore

Posted by Gim Cheong to members of wildbirdSingapore, 6 October 2014:

‘Raptor migration at Tuas South Avenue 16 today. We counted 265 Oriental Honey Buzzards, along with a Peregrine Falcon, a Chinese Sparrowhawk, 6 Japanese Sparrowhawks, plus a number of unidentified ones…’

Oriental honey buzzard

Oriental honey buzzard

Image at
Under Buzzards
Heavy summer. Heavy. Companion if we climb our mortal bodies
High with great effort, we shall find ourselves
Flying with the life
Of the birds of death. We have come up
Under buzzards they face us
Slowly slowly circling and as we watch them they turn us
Around, and you and I spin
Slowly slowly…
from Under Buzzards by James Dickey (1923-1997)
Listen to James Dickey read Under Buzzards at

From bats to bodies to border crossings


African fruit bats, hosts for the Ebola virus

African fruit bats, hosts for the Ebola virus

Image at Brossard at Flickr

epidemic: n.1 a widespread occurrence of a disease in a community at a particular time 2 such a disease…[from Greek epidemia ‘prevalence of disease’]

pandemic: adj. (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world; n. an outbreak of such a disease. [from Greek pandemos ‘public’]

Definitions in Oxford Compact Dictionary, Oxford, 1996


Bodies and borders:

Ebola virus

Ebola virus


Ebola in West Africa 3 October 2014

Ebola in West Africa 3 October 2014

An Ebola flightpath

Ebola flightpath overseas


Images from (6 October 2014)

For more info and articles see for example



someone is dressing up for death today, a change of skirt or tie
eating a final feast of buttered sliced pan, tea
scarcely having noticed the erection that was his last
shaving his face to marble for the icy laying out
spraying with deodorant her coarse armpit grass
someone today is leaving home on business
saluting, terminally, the neighbours who will join in the cortege
someone is paring his nails for the last time, a precious moment
someone’s waist will not be marked with elastic in the future
someone is putting out milkbottles for a day that will not come
someone’s fresh breath is about to be taken clean away
someone is writing a cheque that will be rejected as ‘drawer deceased’
someone is circling posthumous dates on a calendar
someone is listening to an irrelevant weather forecast
someone is making rash promises to friends
someone’s coffin is being sanded, laminated, shined
who feels this morning quite as well as ever
someone if asked would find nothing remarkable in today’s date
perfume and goodbyes her final will and testament
someone today is seeing the world for the last time
as innocently as he had seen it first


by Dennis O’Driscoll (1954-2012)