Of Monsoon Rhythms and Golden Orioles
The delayed heavy rains following upon the first pre-monsoon showers that we reported on in our last post did the disappearing trick, and once again the onset of the full-scale monsoon was delayed. Once again, there was a fairly long dry hot spell.
Now, at last, the rains look like they might be taking on a seasonal form. Over the last few days we have been witness to a drama of fantastic cloud formations and luminous monsoon skies. While the city slickers amongst us could do little more than gape with wonder and fervently hope that the weather would turn cool, the farmers in the neighbourhood looked quite unmoved.
The birds, however, were driving themselves into a tizzy, probably sensing the downpour in the making. Loud calls were everywhere and much frenzied flying around. Among them the Kingfisher’s trilling, the Indian Roller’s guttural burps, the warbling of the Drongos, and the maddening crescendos of the Brainfever Bird were the most prominent, the sound-makers themselves unabashedly visible everywhere, thrusting their chests out and raising their heads high as they called.
From the depths of tree foliage, coming through the chatter of babblers and the more muted twittering of sparrows, we discerned a new sound little heard in previous months. The steady short song of the Indian Golden Oriole. And, every now and again, flashes of a brilliant yellow body.
We wonder whether it takes a serious monsoon to bring these stunningly beautiful and uniquely coloured birds out of their extreme shyness. And we’re now hoping that the monsoons are here to stay.
The Indian Golden Oriole (oriolus kundoo), also called the Eurasian Oriole, is a distinct species of orioles found in the Indian sub-continent and Central Asia.