Passion. Wildlife. Photography. Trekking.

Hessarghatta

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Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)

Indian roller is one of those few birds I knew before I started bird watching as they were very commonly seen perched along roadside wires and trees en route to my native.

The Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis) gains its name from its elaborate courtship displays, during which it performs some startling aerobatics culminating in a series of ‘rolling’ motions. The Indian roller is a medium-sized bird (26–27 cm ).The breast is brownish,the crown and vent are blue.The primaries are deep purpulish blue with a band of pale blue.The tail is sky blue with a terminal band of Prussian blue and the central feathers are dull green.The neck and throat are purplish lilac with white shaft streaks.The three forward toes are united at the base.Its eyes are greyish-brown and the strong, hook-tipped bill is blackish-brown. (Source –Wikipedia , Arkive)

ROLLER1_DSC0178INDIAN ROLLER

Its local name is Neela Kanta (meaning “blue throat”).This colorful cousin of the migratory Eurasian Roller was formerly called Blue Jay and is also the state bird of Karnataka.

ROLLER CALLINGRoller Calling

First image was shot in October while the 2nd was  in December 2012,in Hessarghatta.

This bird feeds primarily on insects, in particular beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers. It also regularly consumes flying insects such as wasps, flies, moths and butterflies . Where available, amphibians also form a large part of its diet.It prefers open cultivated areas or light deciduoud forest. (Source – Arkive )

In flight , Indian Roller is  a spectacular sight to watch. I have tried capturing flight shot but haven’t been successful yet! 😦 . Will post that as and when I get.

Critics and comments are welcome 🙂

Cheers,

Bhargav

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Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) – Female

The Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae.It is a bird of farm land and open areas. It is known for the way it hovers above the ground ,  in search of prey.

 It is a medium- sized (32- 29 cm ) falcon with long wings and tail.Plumage is light chestnut – brown with blackish spots on the upper-side and buff  with narrow blackish streaks on the underside.The sexes are distinct, in males the rump and tail are bluish grey and unbarred,whereas in females they are brownish – red with dark barring.The head is grey in males and brown in females.( Source – Wikipedia)

Common Kestrel_DSC2567Common Kestrel

10th November,  was a good day for me. Prior to this , I have tried almost  a month to photograph this lady. Though I had managed to take few shots,I was not happy with it. On this day, I spent a good amount of time with her, I saw her Hoover , I saw her preen , I saw her catch insects. I managed to click shots which I wanted.

CK2_DSC2129Ground Level shot of Common Kestrel

Preening Kestrel_DSC2147Common Kestrel – Preening

Please click HERE to read about Preening.

Preening2 _DSC2152Lost in Preening

(Can you spot the head?)

Walking CK_DSC2238Jumping Kestrel

The below image was taken on 1st November and  it is special to me. It was raining here in Bangalore for almost a week (remember Cyclone Nilam?), I had no plans of going for birdwatching  or for photography as I thought it would rain ,  My friend (Hemanth) called me the previous night and asked  if  we can go, if there is no rain. On this day, it was drizzling  but we thought it would stop and went ahead with the plan . But , the drizzle slowly picked up for our bad, added to that going in activa made it even more difficult for us. Mud went inside all possible parts it could go to and we had tough time cleaning it. It was still drizzling and was impossible to go back in the same path , we planned to take the other exit . On the way to exit , we stopped  to take a photograph of a Paddy field Pipit but to our luck this beauty came and perched close to where we were.It was first time  I was that close to any bird , I could see the details of it just with my eyes. I still cannot forget that eye contact. Got my first Portrait this day ! .Sometimes things just happen 🙂

Portrait_DSC1671

A Portrait

The Kestrel feeds largely on small mammals, and small birds.Invertebrates are also very important components of the diet.Kestrels hunt by sight,upon spotting their quarry,they plunge to the ground ,seizing the prey with their talon.(Source – Arkive)

 Kestrels, when hovering  are able to stay still even in strong winds. I have seen one on top of  Tadiyandamol hover against  strong winds.

Nikon D300s,Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens , in Hessarghatta.

Hope you all had a great  weekend ,Good Night 🙂


Scope for Improvement

Last to weeks have been very busy , something or the other kept me busy.I had to work last saturday 😦  Being in the Office on  a saturday is no fun , it really sucks!On a positive note , I read two brilliant book’s. One , ” The Fall of a sparrow ” ( Salim Ali) – Thanks to Reliance Time Out 😛  , 2nd one being “ Of  Birds And Birdsong” ( M Krishnan).

It is always Exciting to photograph Small birds. They are colorful,they are active most of the time and at times they are difficult to photograph.

(Among many things) One thing I want to improve is, I want to capture  shot that shows behavior  than a shot that shows only the existence of the bird. For that , I have to  be patient , observe , read and learn about my subject (which I am doing)  . Saying that ,  I understand that I can take it to that level if I can go beyond the simple shot . And of course , I am not taking anything away from existence shots as they are quite pleasing in themselves .

new STONECHAT_DSC2346Siberian Stonechat (Male)

(Please click on the picture )

(Please click HERE and HERE to check older picture’s of Siberian Stonechat)

Do let me know the area which you feel I should work on, to make it better. Thanks in advance 🙂

 Comments, critiques and suggestions are welcome.

Cheers,

Bhargav


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Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus),also called the scavenger vulture.  It has an unmistakable appearance, possessing white plumage with  black feathers in the wings and tail . They have bare yellow face and the bill is large and narrow with a curved tip. The legs are pink in adults and grey in juveniles.Young birds are blackish or chocolate-brown with black and white patches.

EV 1_DSC0519Egyptian

EV3_DSC0478

They are also called as Pharaoh’s Chicken

Egyptian Vultures feed mainly on carrion but are opportunistic and will prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles.

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Conservation status of Egyptian Vulture is ENDANGERED , according to IUCN Red List.

The light was not on my side , this is the best I could do. Hope you like it.

Critics and comments are welcome 🙂


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Photo Of The Day – Ashy – crowned Sparrow Lark (Female)

Ashy – crowned Sparrow Lark – Female (Eremopterix griseus)

Click HERE and HERE to see the photo of  Ashy – crowned Sparrow Lark – Male.

Have a nice day 🙂


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Eurasian Roller (Coracias garrulous)

Eurasian Roller ( Coracias garrulous) also known as European rollers ,are migrants to our country and are  near threatened species. They have  colorful plumage .The head ,neck and  underparts are light blue,while the upper parts are brownish -orange.A short ,thin black stripe runs through the eye.The tail is greenish- blue with a darker base.

Eurasian Roller

Nikon D300s,Nikkor 70-300mm VR, f6.3,1/1000sec,ISO 400.

It feeds on invertebrates such as  beetles, crickets, locusts, caterpillars, flies and spiders.

Nikon D300s,Nikkor 70-300mm VR, f6.3,1/800sec,ISO 400.

I first spotted this beautiful bird a day before this picture was shot but  couldn’t capture the shot as too many people came in and frightened the bird away with all the activity 😦 . Luckily ,the very next day this bird flew to the place we were waiting .All we had to do was, just position our self at comfortable distance and click .

Nikon D300s,Nikkor 70-300mm VR, f6.3,1/800sec,ISO 400.

Hope you like it 🙂

Meanwhile ,I trekked Tadiyandamol (Highest peak in Coorg range also 3rd highest peak in Karnataka) last weekend. It was brilliant, caught some good shots,will post them soon.

Have a nice day 🙂


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Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus ) Male

Hi All,

 Hope you all had  a great weekend. Here is a picture of Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus) male ,which I shot on saturday. I am not a big  fan of completely plain background , I would like to show texture but in this case there was hardly anything behind  the bird.

MALE11_DSC0441Solitude

(To check the Photos of Siberian Stonechat Female,click HERE)

This weekend was good in terms of sighting and photography ,though it was raining most of the time.I  Saw Twany Eagle ,Egyptian Vulture and European Roller for the first time and made  some good images of Vulture and Roller ,Twany Eagle was too far for my lense .Will post them soon.

Also , I visited photography exhibition – ‘Where The Wild Things Are’. It is a photography exibition of  recent works by Kalyan Varma, Ganesh Shankar , Jayanth Sharma and Aditya Singh. It was awesome. The feel of looking at prints was  just brilliant and different.If you are in bangalore ,don’t miss it . It is on till the 26th of this month at the Five Forty Five, the art gallery in Indiranagar. 545, 6th Main, 4th Cross, Indira Nagar Stage II, Bangalore, India 560008. Trust me, you wont loose anything.

Have a great day 🙂


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Photo of The Day – Juvenile .Brown Shrike

Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) is a small bird (18-19cm) belonging to Shrike family.This little fellow is sub adult,adults have reddish-brown upper parts and tail.The wings will be of  darker brown color while the lower plumage will be off white.

Brown Shrike (Juv)

Nikon D300s,Nikkor 70-300mm VR, f6.3,1/1600sec,ISO 5oo,on a cloudy(rainy) day in Hessarghatta.

See you soon:)

Cheers,

Bhargav


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Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata ) Female

Pied Bushchat – Female

Here is another post on Pied Bushchat  Saxicola caprata, but this time its Female. For details and earlier post please click Here.

Have a good day.

Cheers,

Bhargav


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Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus ) Female

The Siberian Stonechat or Common Stonechat  is a resident and a winter visitor to India.The Siberian Stonechat is insectivorous.It breeds in open rough scrub-land or rough grassland with scattered shrubs.The female has pale brown upper parts and head, white neck patches (not a full collar), and a pale, unstreaked pinkish-yellow rump.

Queen of thorns

Starring Lady

Puffed Stonechat

All images shot with Nikon D300s,Nikkor 70-300mm VR. There was hardly anything behind the bird and hence,clean background.

Hope you liked it. Have a great Weekend .