Red Munia tales
An early morning trip to Hoskote lake led to attending an impromptu concert put on by a Red Munia.
This incident occurred one early morning in November 2019. My usual habit of visiting the lakes around Bangalore led me that early morning to witness a wonderful natural history moment. That day, I decided to visit Hoskote Lake in the outskirt of Bangalore.
A variety of birds can be found here, although my favourite from that area was the Siberian stonechat (Saxicola maurus). I regularly visit this area to catch this beautiful bird’s plumage in the frame, and that was my hopeful intention that November morning, which was in vain as I couldn’t locate the bird. Hence I decided to walk a little further to see a powerful raptor called the Marsh harrier, who is also a resident of that lake, but luck was not on my side and I couldn’t find him too!
Dejected, I thought to return back to where I had parked my car, as the excursion seemed to be in vain. Feeling let down and tired, I decided to take some rest and then start my journey home. I opened my box of refreshments to munch on some biscuits, when this beautiful bird came and started chirping near the area I was resting. It was a Red Munia, also known as Strawberry finch or red avadavat (Amandava amandava) trying to forage on the ground. As I was dressed in a camouflage coat, the bird probably did not notice me so near, which allowed me to silently pick up my camera and start clicking. I was able to experience this amazing bird up close for more than 15 minutes, after which it flew off.
Those 15 minutes of being in close quarters with the gregarious bird was an experience to remember. My request to everyone reading this is that if you ever find yourself in such a situation where you are in close contact with any species, do wait silently do not make any sudden movement to disturb wildlife, and enjoy the impromptu show that nature puts on for your benefit while staying safe and calm.