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THE LAND OF COFFEE BERRIES & PLUMHEADS

By on January 29th, 2018

It was a scene straight out of a dream. A jeep ride through a 100-acre coffee plantation amidst the mist-shrouded hills. We were hunting for coffee berries at the heart of Coorg. So were the butterflies. I spotted two stained-glass wings perched on yellow-hearted coat button flowers. It was a gorgeous Blue Tiger Butterfly. He flew off in pursuit of a Striped Tiger. This one was unusual, for it had a pair of

fluttery wings.

Blue Tiger Butterfly

Then I saw a school, where the dress code seemed to be fins. It was a school of fish going on an excursion in a sparkly-clear pond. A yellow-collared grey kingfisher was watching them from his tree-branch throne, but maybe he wasn’t hungry, for he flew away.

Stork Billed Kingfisher

A spotted dove landed right in front of me and captured my attention for a few seconds before it flew away. Then, we passed the pond and began exploring the plantation where the Robusta variety of coffee was sown. Snow-white flowers were in full bloom. I sniffed a flower, but it had no trace of coffee aroma. However, a Coppersmith Barbet noticed my presence and began singing a welcome song.

Coffee Blooms

There was a sudden black streak followed by what seemed like two miniature blackbirds. It was the Racquet Tailed Drongo. The curled feather crest and the tail with twirled rackets are the distinctive features of this bird. We bid goodbye to the bird and turned our attention to the ripening coffee berries. The wholly ripe ones were being plucked by the plantation workers. A little damselfly was dancing amidst the leaves. A lazy striped moth was watching the spectacle.

Racquet Tailed Drongo

We turned back our attention to the berries, managing to sample a few. They tasted like fleshless plums, with large seeds that occupied around one-third of the berry. These seeds are sundried and roasted to coax out the aroma of coffee.

Hand Plucked Coffee Berries

Later that evening, we were relaxing at the estate office and sipping Levista coffee. We were watched by a Plum-headed Parakeet and his grey-headed female counterpart.

Plum Headed Parakeet (Male)

Plum Headed Parakeet (Female)

Their synchronized squawking provided refreshing background music to the moment. If you’re longing to experience such blissful moments, write to askthebirdman@gmail.com

Photo by: Siluvai Amalan

Content by: Siluvai Amalan & Niranjani Ravi

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