Friday, February 12, 2010

Song Thrush

A popular European garden bird, the Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos ) landed on board off the Mediterranean coast of Africa. This insectivorous bird was probably hopping across the Mediterranean like the birds that have been featured in the previous posts. Like the Lark in my previous post this bird too is in rapid decline especially in the UK
The bird is a great imitator of calls, and can imitate up to 100 calls many of which it learns either from its mother or neighborhood birds. There have been instances of the bird even repeating telephone rings.
The Song Thrush is occasionally a host of parasitic cuckoos, but this is very rare because the thrush recognizes the cuckoo's eggs. The introduced birds in New Zealand, where the cuckoo does not occur, have, over the past 135 years, have still retained the ability to recognise and reject cuckoos eggs.

Photodetails : The photographs were clicked at noon and hence they lack the warm tones of the morning or evening sun. The noon sun also casts some unwanted shadows, especially on the birds face in the second photograph. The bird did not stay until evening and hence probably missed a chance to click some wonderful photographs.
300mm, f/5.6, 1/320sec, ISO 100

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This Skylark ( Alauda arvensis) landed on board off Libya. One of the prominent features of the larks are their crests. Although the bird is pretty common in Europe, its population is seeing a rapid decline today. Skylarks are winter visitors to India and this one was probably migrating to Africa, as winter sets in Europe.
It took me a long time to get a closeup of the bird; all my initial photographs were like the first one. Later as the bird got used to my presence it gave me a bit of leeway and let me come closer to it.

Photodetails : Camera Sony A350
1. 300mm , f/5.6, 1/1600 sec , ISO200
2. 300mm , f/5.6, 1/800 sec , ISO200
3. 300mm , f/5.6, 1/1600 sec , ISO200

Saturday, February 6, 2010

European Nightjar

This European Nightjar or Eurasian Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) landed on board when my ship was off Italy and I believe it was migrating towards Africa. This is the only species of Nightjar's found in Europe and can migrate all the way up to cape. This nocturnal bird spends most of the daylight hours roosting on ground amidst camouflaged leaves just like this and is difficult to spot. Fortunately for me there are no leaves on board and the bird had to rest on one of the pipelines. I accidentally spotted it and was delighted at the opportunity. My college schedule is making regular postings a bit difficult, should be on track in about a month.
Photo details: 300mm lens ; f/5.4; 1/400sec ; ISO200; Spot metering .