A White Wagtail

April 15, 2021

The temperature at Budha Madhmaheshwar was below freezing. We were staying in Madhmaheshwar for a couple of days now. On our third morning, we decided to witness and capture the famed sunrise from Budha Madhmaheshwar. It was before dawn that we started our quarter of a Kilometre trek and were here by dawn.

Now most Himalayan birds migrate, when I say migrate it’s mostly altitudinal migration. Golden-bush Robin for example, are found around 1500-2000 Meters in winters, with spring they start migrating upwards and eventually end up breeding at the edge of bugyals and forest in monsoons at around 3500 Meters. The Grey-headed Canary flycatcher can be found in warm areas of Uttarakhand in winters, but migrate upwards to 1500 meters or so in spring to breed. The whistler’s warbler is found where I stay in winters, migrating upwards when spring comes to breed.

But there are two birds that I have seen everywhere in the Himalayas. The first is the Blue-whistling thrush. In winters one can see them as far as Rishikesh and Haridwar, while in rains they can be found at altitudes beyond 3500 Meters. The second is this cute guy, a White-Wagtail. I have seen them in the hottest areas of Uttarakhand to beyond 4300 Meters in the glaciers.

A White Wagtail at Madhmaheshwar in Uttarakhand
A White-Wagtail

So this morning, when I saw this cute little guy wagging his tail around us at Bhuda Madhmaheshwar, it was no surprise. The temperature was below freezing and while our fingers and toes were numb, this guy was happily hopping around on the frozen water body. I had my 24-105 lens mounted and seeing this guy, gave me an idea of a habitat shot I could make.

The layer of ice on the water body, the reflection of the clear blue sky and to top it all the peak of Kedarnath, just reflecting off the water for me made a beautiful frame.

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