Monday, March 30, 2009

British Robin

The British Robin (Erithacus rubecula) is a common garden bird in Britain, but is a novelty here in India. A very small population of Female Robins migrate to Europe from Britain during Winter and Robins from Russia migrate to Britain to escape from the harsh Russian winter.
I found the British birds to be less shy and more approachable by humans than their Indian counterparts. The birds are used to humans and don't find unsafe near them. I may be wrong but the only reason I could conclude was may be because of our habit of shooing birds that come to peck the food we eat or that come on the fields.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mute Swans

For the next few post Ill be showcasing a few British birds. I recently culminated an one month long trip to England, and though I did not equip myself to photograph the wildlife, I could not resist the temptation to photograph the occasional bird that I came across.
These are one of the most common bird's of Britain and found in most of the parks and rivers.
They are called mute because they are not as vocal as the other swans. These birds are really pretty and their courtships are a pretty sight to watch.
All unmarked swans in Britain are owned and protected by the Queen since the 15th Century
Camera: Sony A-350, 200mm , ISO:100 , ( Photographed at Bristol)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spotted Munia

These Spotted Munias (Lonchura punctulata) were foraging on the ground, when I slowly tried to approach them. Though I thought I was quiet, they spotted me and with loud chirps flew onto a nearby bamboo grove, this is a typical behaviour for this bird. Its only when they flew, I realised that there were not 3 or 4 but about 30 to 35 birds together. This tiny bird measuring about 10 cm is also called scaly breasted Munia and loves light vegetation and a diet of flying termites. When termites are not to be found then they live on grass seeds and hence mostly found foraging close to the ground.
I could not get any close up photograph of the bird, but will be hopefully lucky next time.
Camera: Sony A350, 200mm lens, ISO 100, f/5.6 . RAW format image.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

Met this Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae) outside Ranganatittu in Mysore, it was sitting under the shade of a tree and light was a bit poor. I increased the ISO to 800 to get a faster shutter speed.
(You can see the slight specked noise, especially on the green background because of this high ISO)
The bird belongs to the flycatcher family and like its cousins feeds on insects ,flies and gnats.
The bird is found throughout India and loves Bamboo vegetation and light forests. Generally found sitting upright on Low twigs or stems.
As evident the bird is dark blue, with a Reddish breast and rest of the lower part white. The bird could be mistaken for the Blue throated Flycatcher.
The bird also has an unusual character; if you come close to the bird when strolling around it will not fly away, instead will give bursts of its song, as if challenging an intruder, if you come much closer it will then fly away and not come anywhere near sight.
Camera: Sony A350 , 200mm , ISO800, f/5.6,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Great Stone-Plover (Great Thick Knee)

This is the closest I could manage to get of the Stone-plover (Esacus recurvirostris) with my 200mm lens . Photographed at Ranganatittu near Mysore. If you enlarge the first photograph you will see the birds massive goggle shaped eyes and the yellow-black upturned bill. The bird prefers rocky river-beds and hence the Prefix stone for this bird of the Plover family.
This bird loves crabs and that is where its upturned bill comes of great use. Crabs tend to hide under rocks and the bird just rolls off stones using its beak like a crowbar. The bird is also a fast runner another adaptation for chasing crabs.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Painted Stork

I Have not posted for about two weeks now on this blog since I was occupied with updating my travel stories on Lush Green .
Will start from earnest again; These photographs of Painted Storks ( Mycteria leucocephala) were clicked at Rangantittu in February.
The birds were nesting and from a distance it seemed like the tree was cluttered with orange bulbs and only on a closer look could one savor the full beauty of this majestic bird. These birds are found in colonies and 10-20 of them may share a tree. These birds also share space with other storks, ibises,pelicans, egrets and cormorants. If not hunting for fish, frogs or snake they spend the day standing hunched up unless during nesting time, when it is busy collecting leaves and straws to build a nest, which look like a platform with a depression.
The bird in the 3rd photograph is collecting leaves for its nest and in the first photograph the birds are standing besides their nest, most of them had hatched chicks and were busy feeding them.
Camera: Sony A350, 200mm lens, ISO 100 , f/5.6 ( aperture priority + spot metering)