We always make it a point to switch off the vehicle engine and spend some time at the check dam in the Bandipur national park, scanning the landscape for wildlife.

The Cormorants and Darters are a common sight on the water front. This time, as we waited near the dam, we saw a lone Darter perched motionless on a dead tree stump not far from the water’s edge. We clicked a few portrait images of the motionless bird. As I was looking at the Darter through the view finder, I saw that it had spotted something in the water and was tracing the prey’s path using its flexible neck.

We thought we would see the Darter catch fish. However, it withdrew the hunt at the last instance and returned to it’s normal stance. Our guess is that the prey, most probably a fish, spotted the bird and changed course at the last minute away from the Darter‘s reach, making it give up it’s hunt.

However, the whole act looked as though the Darter was dancing on the stump and hence the title.

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