Having started noticing a few of these birds on my way from Srinagar airport to my destination, I didn’t think there would be SO MANY of them at the area where I would be spending my vacation-week. Luckily I have a soft spot for crows and ravens and immensely enjoyed their late evening conspiratorial caws and cackles and sounds I have no words to describe. It was delightful to hear the racket they created each evening, only to quietly fall asleep on the branches of trees. Surreal almost. The sound would reach a pitch that would seem almost unbearable for another second and then suddenly it would start to die down and within minutes there would be absolute silence from the birds. Two Poplar trees, more black than green.
Over the course of my stay there, in a couple of days, I spotted a couple of young birds and they, in turn, spotted me. Fearless as they are supposed to me, one of them waddled up quite close to me even though I was photographing with my 200mm lens. And when I say “waddled”, I mean it.
One day, there were vultures at the venue as well! And the ravens circled the circling vultures. Great big white chested birds. That was quite a distraction for the humans and the ravens. I have a few of those photographs as well but considering the birds were quite high up in the sky, there’s not much detail on the vultures.
Kashmir’s pristine blue sky melded with the birds’ shiny black feathers made for some beautiful birds. But I do have some more photographs of the beautiful ravens that looked better in black and white. I was happy they’d let me photograph them so up-close just by the third day of my stay. I posted a video of their incessant cawing on Instagram.
See you later ravens!
Previously published stories from Kashmir.