Monday, June 15, 2009

Common Golden-Backed Woodpecker

I could not come as close as I wanted , to photograph this Woodpecker ( Dinopium javanense) but will try my best the next time I come across him. The bird closely resembles the Lesser Golden-Backed Woodpecker. The bird works up on stems of old trees, tapping them to find rotten and hollow wood and then drilling hole to eat the beetles and insects hiding withing them. They also feed on ripe fruits ans sometimes nectar too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cattle Egrets

I have previously featured Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis) on this blog, the reason I am featuring again is because, this time I spotted them in this special plumage of buff orange. This is the birds Breeding plumage. When in non breeding the bird resembles a little egret but in this season it is unmistakable . The bird is called a cattle egret because it is mostly seen with grazing cattle, stalking energetically alongside the animals , running around them and in between their legs, all for seizing insects that are disturbed by the movement of cattle.

Continuing from the previous post.
Mistake no. 6 : Setting up the tripod in a hurry: When photographing birds, the key is to be quite and still. Once you perch at a place, it is important you move very less. Hence it becomes very important to set yourself in a nice vantage point. Importantly keeping in mind the position of the sun and the favourite perching positions of the birds. It has has happened many times that when I get excited seeing a new bird, I just forget all of it and end up chasing away the bird.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pied Kingfisher

In my September 2008 post I had featured a Pied Kingfisher sitting on a power cable; this time I was lucky enough to spot one engaged in fishing. Though I must admit that I could not get good close up images, but hopefully these convey its fishing technique.
The bird hovers over a potential fishing spot at about a height of 15-20 meters for a considerable period of time. When a fish comes within striking depth, it speeds itself towards the prey, with wings pulled by the sides. It dives into the water emerges with its prey and flies off to a convenient rock or branch, where the prey is battered before being swallowed. This is a very spectacular scene to watch and I enjoyed every bit if it.

Continuing From my previous post: ( 10 photography mistakes I knowingly commit)
Mistake 5:Using the Wrong Choice of metering:What would happen if you chose matrix metering for a photograph like the ones above?. The kingfisher forms a tiny part of the photograph, which is mostly sky otherwise. Hence the camera would expose for the bright sky and would choose a faster shutter speed. The sky would come very beautiful with all its clouds, but what would happen to the kingfisher? It would be a dark blob on the photograph. Fortunately for the above photograph I had used spot metering and metered the bird. But this does not always happen to me, many times I have photographed flying birds or birds at sea with the wrong choice of metering with the resulting photograph being truly unusable. Today I have made it a practice to look at the metering mode chosen before I venture into the clicking business. But we all have our memory limitations.