Saturday, January 31, 2009

Indian Roller

This India roller (Coracias benghalensis) landed on my ship off the Gujarat coast, spent the entire morning on board, flying from place to place as I approached it to get a nice close up photograph.
The bird was a very shy one never letting me approach closer than 10-15 mtrs. The bird normally feeds on large sized prey like frogs and lizards. Once it has captured them it goes back to its perch and batters them to death. Other than the colour another interesting aspect of the roller is its courtship display, which includes some complex acrobatics and diving tricks.
The bird id found throughout the Indian Subcontinent.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Common Hoopoe

This Hoopoe (Upupa epops) was Photographed about 200 kms off Gujarat coast and it made me wonder what was it doing so far away from land. The first photograph was clicked when the bird was trying to catch something off the water, just like a seagull, something very unusual for a Hoopoe. I wonder if any one could explain this unusual behavior. The standard diet of a Hoopoe includes Insects, grubs and pupae. It digs out its food from the ground by using its slightly open beak like a forecep.
When the bird digs the crest is folded back and projects into a point as photographed above, time to time it opens it like a fan and it a beauty to watch.
The first photograph is one of my favourite and was clicked as i was panning the bird standing on the ship side and the bird was skimming the sea surface.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Koel - Male

A Juvenile male Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus malayanus) moulting into adult plumage, when fully grown he will have lost the brown shaded wings. I spotted him two days after I spotted the female koel. He was very secretive, hiding in dark areas below my ships pipelines and photographing him proved challenging. I had to use a longer shutter speed to bring out the details of his plumage, hence overexposing the background.
The most striking aspect of the cuckoo's are their Crimson eyes and it stands out well in their dark plumage.
Photographed 20kms off the Gujarat coast (near Vadinar)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Desert Wheatear

This Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti) is a bird that prefers arid land and this one landed on my ships deck when we were somewhere between the Oman and Pakistani coast. In the subcontinent the bird breeds in Pakistan and Kashmir and during winters it migrates to the south of India all the way until Sri Lanka. Hence the bird is sighted south of Kashmir mostly during winters.Eats insects loves to much on beetles
Sony H-7 with 1.7x telephoto f/8, 1/200.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Koel - Female

This Female Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) turned up on my ship when we were somewhere 200kms of the Indian West coast. The male is black in colour and I spotted it only two days later, but by then this bird had disappeared.
This bird with a melodious 'Kuoo' call is well known for laying its eggs in a crows nest. The bird becomes noisy as summer approaches and is the first voice to be heard at dawn.
The bird was very scared of my slow approach and to get this close shot, I had to crawl behind all available obstacles to hide myself from her piercing crimson eyes.
Camera: Sony H7 - f/4.8 , 1/160, ISO 80,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Black Drongo

Just like in the previous post, this Black Drongo too visited my ship when we were about 250 kilometers off the Gujarat coast.
This one had a broken beak, probably the result of a fight. The bird ensured that it always sat on a spot with a vantage point .The easiest way yo recognize this Drongo is by the white patch below its eye, none of the similar looking Drongo species have it.The bird was hunting and feeding on the scores of grasshoppers that had somehow landed on my ship.
Camera : Sony H-7 , f/4.8 , 1/200


Monday, January 19, 2009

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) also called the common swallow is one of those birds that fly so fast that i really struggled to click their mid air flight photographs.
These photographs were clicked some 200 kms off Gujarat coast in the North Arabian sea. I wonder how these birds came so far into the sea?  The bird has got a glossy blue colour and this makes photographing it difficult in bright background, especially when it comes to bringing out the details of the bird.The birds were majestically gliding in the air turning and twisting catching flies.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Alexandrine Parakeet

Its been quite some time since my last posting, I was sailing on the high seas on a tanker and hence without any net access. During this time I did manage to Photograph a lot of birds and marine life, which I will start regularly posting from today. As before I will be posting on every odd date on this blog and the even dates are reserved for my other photography blogs.
On the day I was suppose to join this ship, I got a days halt at Mumbai and I used the opportunity to visit Hanging gardens (A park in South Mumbai) where I saw a colony of these Alexandrine Parakeets (Psittacula eupatria). The distinctive feature of the bird is its maroon patch on each shoulder. The one photographed above is a female the males have a rose-pink and black collar  around their neck. The birds were very noisy and the entire park was filled with their chatter.