This morning as I picked up the newspaper kept on the teapoy in the Visitors' lounge in Rishi Valley, I noticed the newspaper and the floor nearby was having a white stain from bird droppings. Expecting to see the familiar Indian Scops Owl pair, I was surprised to see a large, white, heart-shaped face staring back at me. It was then I realized the droppings were larger than usual. Moving back, I got a better look at the visitor perched on the top rafter under the tiled roof. It was a barn owl!
I had seen this bird just once earlier in the campus and was thrilled to see it. I hurried back home, picked the camera and got a few shots. After a while, the bird became nervous as a few more staff members joined me to take a look. A little later as I moved to get a better view, the bird moved and flew out to a nearby Peltophorum tree.
An hour later, towards noon, I went to see if the owl was still around and there and there it was. Took a few more snaps quickly and moved away, not wishing to disturb the bird.
The resident Scops owls were away, perhaps busy, raising a brood in a nearby tree-hole. Wonder what they will have to say when they see a new occupant in their regular haunts!
I hope water will continue to flow and bring about some positive changes to the vegetation and animals as well as people’s lives here.