The Qutab Minar ( Minar is a tower in Hindi) is the symbol Of New Delhi and marks the Rise and Fall of dynasties and empires over 11 centuries.
As I was arching my neck and attempting to frame ( photographers will get it) the magnificent Qutab Minar , the corners of my eyes detect specks of green on this gateway to the Iron Pillar ( 2nd Century BC) .
On a closer look , the specks of green turn into parakeets adorning the beautiful stone carvings.
Am overawed and pleasantly surprised, they are none other than Alexandrine Parakeets. Psittacula eupatria.
The red shoulder patch reveals the identity of the largest bird in the family of Parakeets .
The male is distinctively identified by its red nape and black ring around the neck .
This couple had found a gorgeous 1100 year old Penthouse .
An alert female member of the Alexandrine parakeet looks at all from the rooftop perch of the Penthouse.
Do notice the black ring and red nape are absent. It is also distinctively smaller than the male.
Whenever I see the THICK KNEE am reminded of the fairy tale RED RIDING HOOD and her remarks “what big eyes you have grandmother”. ( authors are permitted to spice up the story by giving the originals a little twist )
A nocturnal bird it prefers to hang around bushes , shrubs and trees during the day.
Thick Knee, Indian Stone Curlew,Burhinus indicus ( scientific)
This one was spotted Ogling at the lake under a TREE.
A combination of large goggle eyes and the above mentioned habit of hanging around gives the appearance of this bird OGLING.
A resident bird to the dry deciduous forests of India it can be spotted even in the stunted forests of Delhi. I did see one in Asola Forest Reserve in New Delhi.
The little knot around the knee give it another uncomplimentary name, THICK KNEE.
Sleeping or preening itself , Goggle eyes also has a large characteristic beak.
It is also called Indian Stone Curlew because of the characteristic wailing sound associated with Curlews.
Almost all pictures in books and sources on the net show the plumage as brown or shades thereof.
However the pictures I have taken near a lake in Rajasthan show up the THICK KNEE more greyish or STONE coloured.
The THICK knee or Stone Curlew finds a place in many stories, poems and even a movie.
Similar birds can be Spotted in Europe ( Eurasian Stone Curlew) and Africa as well.