Dewar’s Calendar – February

This entry was posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 at 10:48 am

Continuing with the series of extracts from Douglas Dewar’s A Bird Calendar for Northern India, published in 1916, here is his lyrical description for February.

February is the most pleasant month of the whole year… The climate is perfect. The nights and early mornings are cool and invigorating; the remainder of each day is pleasantly warm… The Indian countryside is now good to look upon; it possesses all the beauties of the landscape of July; save the sunsets.

Towards the end of the month the silk-cotton trees begin to put forth their great red flowers…

The fowls of the air are more vivacious than they were in January… The coppersmiths…begin to hammer on their anvils. As in January so in February the joyous “Think of me … Never to be” of the grey-headed flycatcher* (Culicicapa ceylonensis) emanates from every tope…The large grey shrikes add the clamour of their courtship to the avian chorus.

Courtship is the order of the day…

…the white-browed fantail flycatchers begin to nest. The loud and cheerful song of this little feathered exquisite is…one of the most familiar of the sounds that gladden the Indian countryside.

* Current name: Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher.

Taken, with grateful thanks, from Project Gutenberg.

Below is a photo of a Grey-Headed Canary Flycatcher taken by MigrantWatcher Jatin Shrivastava near Jalgaon, Maharashtra.

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