Showing posts from December, 2015

Kutch: the invisible wilderness

The salt-sprinkled chocolate browns of the estuarine mudflats are criss-crossed by the prints of carbon-black tyres. The wind is crisp, and the recurring whoop-whoop-whoop of the enormous ghostly wind turbines is ubiquitous, occasionally punctuated by sounds of trucks that trod on the pathless mudflats to reach the nearest salt port. On this truck-trodden path, we look for signs of a particular bird that blends well with the grey-brown landscape, the MacQueen’s Bustard, a rare winter migrant. It is nowhere to be found, but along sparse grasses, pale green in colour, are tracks of various birds imprinted on a layer of fine, seemingly frozen crust of sand. One of which belongs to this bird. The smaller tracks belong to, we think, Desert Warblers; those small, hypersensitive brown birds seen probing the grass strands for tiny morsels during early winters. The largest of all, the three-toed prints, belong to the Common Crane, we acknowledge without a doubt. We saw them graze in a small