Wednesday, April 30, 2008

White Cheeked Barbet- Day 3

The construction of the nest resumed today morning and was completed by evening. In the first photograph Mrs Cheeku is comfortably nesting in her villa.
f/4.5 , + telephoto lens

White Cheeked Barbet - Nest building Day 2

Cheeku continued the construction work of his Villa today. He has been joined by Mrs Cheeku and they have been taking turns in nest building. Each of them keep drilling for about half an hour, until they heavily pant, with one partner keeping a close eye on the partner, warning it of any predator.
The villa is now big enough for one bird to just fit in.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Oriental Garden Lizard

After posting birds for a long time, it was finally the chance of a reptile to strike poise. Spotted this Garden Lizard hunting insects in my garden. The reptile is incorrectly called as 'Bloodsucker' probably because of the red band it develops during breeding season.
In the first frame I tried to frame in the whole reptile and it has such a long tail that to get the entire reptile without compromising on the closeup was pretty tough.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

White Cheeked Barbet

This White cheeked Barbet has started drilling a hole, to make its nest, beside my bedroom window. Will keep posted on its construction progress.
This bird is also known as Small Green Barbet, thought I'll name him Cheeku and his nest Cheeku Villa.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Great Egret

After featuring a Little Egret in the previous post, the Great Egret could not be far behind. This lanky meter tall bird, was spearing for fish in the Mandovi river in Goa.
I did not have the facility of a boat to get a closer look at the bird, probably the next time will get another chance.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Little Egret

In the 17th up to the 19th century the plumes of this bird were in great demand to make hats, and hunting had reduced this bird population to dangerously low levels. But Conservation laws helped protect this bird and its population has come back strongly.
In the first photograph, the bird is quietly stalking its prey the bird then, at the right moment, uses its long beak to spear through its prey.
In the second photograph the bright white plumes of the bird, are clearly reflected even in the muddy water.

Grey Heron

This is my 100th Post, on the "Friendly Animals" section of my blog. Though I started this genre later, over a period of time, it has overtaken all other Genres of Photography.
Here the Grey Heron, in its characteristic style is tracking its prey by waiting motionless. This bird is very similar to the American Great Blue heron, which is only slightly bigger in size than its Indian counterpart.
Clicked at Aldona in Goa, the bright noon sun has overexposed the bird a bit.
f/4.5 , 1/160 sec + UV filter


Lotens Sunbird.
A female Purple Rumped Sunbird. I have posted photographs of sunbirds and some notes earlier on this blog. Posted these new photographs, since this time around the framing was better.
The bird sometimes hovers like a humming bird while sucking nectar, giving a false impression to many, that it may be a humming bird.
Clicked at Nacinola in Goa

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Common Redshank , Common Greenshank and Heron

Indian Pond Heron , Above
Common Green Shank
Both the birds share a frame
Common Redshank in the background and a Common Greenshank in the foreground. Probably were foraging for crabs or frogs. I for a moment though I would get down into the field and get some low angled photographs, but then finally decided to only lower my tripod into the silt and save my shoes for another day.
Clicked at Aldona, in Goa.

Little Green Bee-eater

Photographed these Little Green Bee-eaters at Goa's Anjuna Beach. In the first photograph the bird snaps a flying insect from midair. Just as the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects,which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. Before eating its meal, a bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface.
This bird has also got a ability to looks at things in others point of view, hence while building nests it chooses a place, after deciding how a predator will look at it. Its never too much for a bird!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Indian Robin

A female Indian Robin, sings with its melodious voice. The male is glossy black with a white shoulder patch.Early in the morning This was the first bird to rise up and start chirping early in the morning Goa, where I was photographing birds
Photographed at Goa. f/4.5 , 1/500 sec

Spotted Turtle Dove

This is a bird widespread in the world, and carries a black patch, with white spots on its back, which gives the bird its name.
Clicked at Nachinola in Goa
f/4.5 , 1/400, spot metering, WB-cloudy,

Golden Oriole

I was on a train on my way to Goa, when at one of the stations, I spotted this Golden Oriole. These are very secretive birds and hence difficult to spot or photograph. I Just did not have time to attach my telephoto to get a closeup of this bird.
These are monogamous birds, and when feeding their chicks they are assisted by other Young Orioles, who do not have their own chicks.
f/4.5, 1/500 sec

Black Headed Munia

It was noontime and the sun was creating strong shadows at the birds undercarriage, To bring out the details from the bird, I did spot metering of the birds dark plumage and hence this overexposed background. Though the bird has turned out clean, the overexposed background does not do justice to the birds beauty.
This bird is one of the many that is frequently caught and used in pet trade.

Greater Coucal

Also called the Crow-pheasant, when two Coucal's are in the "Mood"the two birds then synchronizes their calls and give a orchestra like performance that can lighten up any forest.
Here the shadow of the tree canopy has created shadows on the bird and makes the dark coloured bird more difficult to photograph.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

This bird has a long and shallowly forked tail, with the shafts of the two outermost feathers greatly extended and ending in the rackets which give this species its name.You can notice the long tail of the bird, in addition to the tail, the bird is also got a dark crest. Like all other Drongo's this bird too is aggressive by nature, and when I spotted it for this photograph, it had just chased away a Jungle babbler.
As you can see, the background is quite overexposed; this because I had to slowdown the shutter speed to get the details of this dark bird from an overly bright sky.
f/4.5 , 1/40 sec ISO-80

Bronzed Drongo

The Drongo is like the policeman of the forest, he keeps watch over the countryside and will not hesitate to attack birds much larger than him. Timid birds build their nests near a Drongo's for he not only guards his nest but also of the others in the neighborhood. He is also the earliest bird to rise and his sweet voice can be heard as the faintest light breaks in the eastern skies.

Jungle Babbler

Jungle Babbler, photographed at Mangalore, in my grandpas farm. It is said that they are generally found in groups of seven and hence in India they are called "The Seven Sisters"
The bird is quite noisy, and the presence of a flock may generally be known at some distance by the harsh mewing calls, continual chattering, squeaking and chirping produced by its members. It feeds mainly on insects, but also eats nectar and berries.

Gull Airborne

Photographed off Gujarat coast, two airborne Gulls, not very sharp images, but the best I could manage, in early morning light. The reddish cast on the birds plumage is because of the red rising sun.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Black headed Gull

Black headed gull in breeding plumage.These brave birds let me photograph them in all possible places,from the water level all the way up to the ships mast. These gull probably like a certain amount of personal space around them. Like in the fourth photograph, the gull with the open beak is quite irritated when another gull tried to land too close to it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Woodchat Shrike

The Shrike's colour contrast well with the rusty winch and the massive gear. The Shrike has earned itself the name of "Butcher" because he has the strange habit of impaling his prey on thorns. He kills more than he needs to eat at one time and then stores the food in this way. Generally, feeds on insects occasionally feasts on lizards and mice which he pulls to pieces with his strong bill.


Sea gulls in meditation, photographed them sitting on the foremost davit of my ship. I was not able to identify exactly which species of Gull these were. Any help with the identification will be greatly appreciated. These were photographed in the Persian Gulf.

Herring Gulls

Photographed these Herring gulls in the Persian Gulf. Unlike a lake, its rare that a sea is calm enough to get reflections photographed. Used a 2.5x telephotolens and UV filter.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Black Eared Wheatear

A Black eared Wheatear, landed on my ships deck, off the Iranian coast.The sun opposite to the bird can be seen reflected in its eye. The red deck of the ship reflecting on the bird gives it some nice warm tones, and it feels like nice twilight light. In fact it was about 3 in the evening and the sun was at it scorching best.
1/50 sec , f/8
I also used a additional 2.5x telephoto lens on my Sony H7 camera

Isabelline Wheatear

On land this Isabelline Wheatear , feeds on insects on ground. Now I wonder what did it find on the deck of my ship? other than rust flakes. I followed the bird the entire time and he kept hopping from place to place, pausing with a very upright posture to give me a glance and continue foraging.
1/100 sec , f/8 + UV filter

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rock Pigeon

Photographed off the Gujarat coast; this rock pigeon was warming itself on a flood lamp which was put off just before it could perch. In the first photograph, I placed the camera on the bulwark of the ship, such that the lines of the bulwark lead the viewer to the pigeon. Since the background was bright, I had to overexpose the photograph to get the details of the bird, especially its red eye and golden breast.

Javan Myna

Clicked at Singapore, the city is filled with these birds, hence in Singapore it not illegal to kill this bird. This bird is also replacing the common myna in the city. In villages this bird normally rides on oxen and feeds on insects disturbed by the bovines movements.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


The temperature was low and the wind added to the misery of people like me who venture out with a camera, but without warm clothes. This pigeon though seemed very comfortable with its warm coat of feathers, until a Myna landed close to it and had a tiff for space.
In the second photograph, I have purposely placed the bird to the left side of the frame so that the right of the frame would get a white background. Placing the bird at the center of the frame wasn't a good idea because of the distraction towards the left of the frame. Despite being cautious about the same, the yellow marker of the lifebuoy is still slightly visible. The photograph was clicked at sunset and the light of the setting sun gave the image lovely warm tones. The first photograph has a slight bluish cast, because of the early morning sun and haze.
For birds like the pigeon, which are not very active, one generally finds ample time to set up the tripod and frame the photograph at leisure cause the bird does not budge easily.
Photographs captured off the Iran Coast.