Friday, March 19, 2010

Yellow Legged Gulls

Continuing from my Previous post. Cant write much in todays post because of severe time crunch on my side. I enjoyed clicking these photographs, hope you enjoy viewing them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yellow Legged Gulls

As we were departing a Greek port, my ship was surrounded by hundreds of gulls. They were trying to catch fish, which were pushed up by the ships wake. Most of the Gulls were these Yellow Legged Gulls (Larus michahellis) and found it a great opportunity to photograph these flying beauties.
Will feature 3 more photographs in the next post too.These birds were formerly considered a part of the Herring gull family and they do look similar to Herring Gulls. Adults have darker grey backs and wings than herring gulls and have more black in the wing tips than herring gulls.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Siberian Stonechat

In January I had featured a Female Siberian Stonechat,that had landed on board my ship.Today I was fortunate to encouter the male bird (Saxicola maurus)
Photodetails : 300mm, f/5.4, 1/250 sec, ISO-100

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Little Ringed Plover

Off the Palm Beach road in Navi Mumbai is a marshy pond, where I spotted these Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) . The ones featured above are adults during their breeding season. The birds were foraging in the bare soil, hunting insects and flies that were attracted by piles of rubbish that was scattered around.
I Mounted the camera on a tripod and tried focusing on the birds eye, which was the most attractive and contrasting part of its body. Since the bird was small, I had to come down as low the tripod could, to give an appealing angle of view. I feel, photographs of animals shot at their eye level have much more of a 'personal' feel rather than the ones shot from a higher view.

Photo details : 300mm, f/5.4, 1/320 sec, ISO-200

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gull Billed Tern

The Gull Billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) generally prefers a salt water habitat, but I spotted these at 'Sarovar Vihar' a fresh water lake at Navi Mumbai. The bird is pretty versatile when it comes to its diet. The bird acquires a black cap during its breeding season and the ones I spotted were non-breeding adults.
Since my exam preparations are in full swing, my posts are getting smaller; its a matter of one month now.
Photo: f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 200

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jungle Prinia

I perched myself on a small rock and used my hands as a makeshift tripod and waited. This Jungle Prinia (Prinia sylvatica) soon landed on a branch. Sun was setting low and I had to boost my ISO to 400 to get a reasonably fast speed of 1/320 sec.
After about 5 minutes later a dog came running into the field where I was waiting and suddenly, I realised that there was not one about about three hundred of these Prinia's well camouflaged in the field. They all flew into the sky creating a momentary eclipse, never had 300 birds come rushing onto me. Its was a thrilling experience and will surely visit the spot soon, for another dose.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pied Starling

f/5.4 , ISO 400 , 1/320 sec

f/5.4 , ISO 100 , 1/640 sec

Spotted these colourful Pied Starlings (Gracupica contra) around the Palm Beach road in Navi Mumbai. This noisy, colourful and hyper active group of birds were all around me. This bird also called the Pied Myna, is found all around India and especially around human habitations and wetlands.
The images above were clicked with a 300mm lens, and I certainly felt a dire need of a longer lens. Unfortunately Sony is not marketing its 400mm lens in India and its Tele-convertors cannot be used on my 300mm lens. Hence regrettably I have decided to change my camera system and the decision has been fortified after this shooting session. Sony has a lovely camera and lens system, but it seems like it's not meant for wildlife enthusiast and leaves a lot to be desired.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Long Tailed Shrike

While driving off Vajreshwari in Maharastra, with one eye on the road and other on the power cables, I spotted this Long Tailed Shrike (Lanius schach). Also called the Rufous-backed Shrike the bird was preying on insects in the grassland below.
Since this birds claws are unsuitable for tearing prey, they generally impale the prey on a thorn or similar pointed objects and then tear it for eating. Another race of this bird is also found in India and is commonly referred to as the tricolour race.
This photograph was clicked sitting inside the car and the bird did not mind me one bit, but the moment I got out of the vehicle, it just flew off.

Photo details:
f/5.4 , 1/1000 sec , ISO-100

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Its been quite some time since I have posted here, my exams and college has not let me do any posting. Completed my Written exams yesterday and they seem to have gone well. I have to prepare for Viva, which is next month and I hope I can post in a few photographs in between.
Digging into the photographs I clicked when onboard, I stumbled across this unusual looking bird.
At first I thought it was a Hume's whitethroat (Sylvia altaea) but reading about the bird I realised that he was out of his habitat range and a bit of research led me to the much common British garden bird Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
Must have been migrating to Europe from Africa. He was pretty wary of my presence and it was difficult to approach him and its evident in the photograph, that he is pretty tensed about my presence.