Take a quick glance at the picture below. Do you see more than twigs, dried grass and dried branches of trees?
This is the flooring of a dry deciduous forest in the scorching heat of an Indian Summer.
Is it an Optical Illusion or a TRICK OF NATURE ?
A slight rustle as the dry twigs rub against each other and who do we see? None other than this lonely but plump Partridge ( that is what is was called 25 or 30 years ago) till it was rechristened as THE GREY FRANCOLIN ( Francolinus pondicerianus) .
Fortunately it is still called Teetar in Hindi.
From the spurs I guess this Francolin or Teetar is a SHE.
Do see the incredible camouflage laid out by Nature for this Lady . There are discernible shades of brown of the soil around much like the colours of the Francolin.
The twigs are laid out like the bars on its back making this bird virtually INVISIBLE
The captions in the pictures above are from a famous classical BOLLYWOOD song of the 1960s based on this innocuous bird THE TEETAR.
I took these picture in a forest while tracking and awaiting a Tiger to emerge from the grasslands and walk to the Lake for a drink.
I must confess I have been party to many hunts of this bird and even devoured them 30 years ago.
In the Enchanting Forests every rustle , every movement of a leaf tells a magical tale.