Passion. Wildlife. Photography. Trekking.

nature

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Portrait of Rock Agama

Here is a portrait I made yesterday of  The Peninsular rock agama (Psammophilus dorsalis) in Nandi Hills, Karnataka.

_DSC6859Rock agama – A portrait

Rock agamas are a common sight here. I found this particular one on the tree basking in sun. A nice head turn by the agama and the spot light/harsh sunlight falling on it gave me the opportunity to get a nice underexposed background.

Hope you like it. Critics and Comments are welcome.


Photos of Back-Lit Palm Leaf

I made a quick visit  to Hebbal Lake early in the morning today, and ended up with the images below.

Kids playing(shouting) Cricket inside the park  wasn’t helping for Birding , and I then came across this Back-lit Palm leaf.  Hope you like it.

Monochrome of Back-lit Palm Leaf

and for those of you who like color, here it is…

Back-lit Palm Leaf


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Photo of the day

The last few weeks have been very exciting, I am meeting amazing people and learning a  lot of things but on the flip side I have hardly taken my camera out! I am re processing old images , I  liked this one better than the older color version. I am even planning to print this one 🙂

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Green Bee-eater in Rain

which one do you like? This one or the earlier one?


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Grey -headed Canary -flycatcher(Culicicapa ceylonensis)

The Grey headed Canary flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis) is an insectivorous and a species of small flycatcher – like bird found in tropical Asia.

This species breeds in upland to montane oak  and other broadleaved forests and similar wooded areas in temperate  to tropical southern Asia, from Pakistan, Central India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia and southern China. Many populations are resident, but some Himalayan birds are partial migrants that winter in Peninsular India sometimes even occurring in arid habitats.

Bhargav Dwaraki _GHCFGrey headed Canary flycatcher

The Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher is about 10 cm long with a squarish grey head, a canary yellow belly and yellowish-green upperparts. They forage actively like flycatchers and perches in a very upright posture. The sexes are indistinguishable in plumage. They have a very flat bill  which when seen from above look like an equilateral triangle and is fringed with long rictal bristles.

The Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher is an insectivore and like flycatchers makes sallies for aerial insects from a low perch under the canopy of a tree. A pair may forage together and they will often join mixed -species foraging flocks.( Source – Wikipedia)

Bhargav Dwaraki _GHCFGrey headed Canary flycatcher

As we(myself and Vinod ) reached Ooty, we made a list of species that were special from this region .We wanted to spot and photograph each of them.Apart from the commoners like Mynas and Sparrows ,the first bird which we saw was this little Grey headed Canary-flycatcher. Though we spotted it quite easily and spent close to two hours ,I could not make a descent picture as it used to sit up high in trees or on the grills.Next day morning too went with out much luck (in terms of Photography), later in the day I saw it perch on a branch  with less or no clutter .I went there and I was waiting for it to come back ( yes,these birds do perch on the same place), initially  I missed few shots but this bird had kind of got used me and gave an other opportunity. Light was little harsh but I will take it!.Hope you like it 🙂

Have a great Day 🙂

Cheers,

Bhargav

 


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Kashmir Flycatcher (Ficedula subrubra)

The Kashmir Flycatcher(Ficedula subrubra) is a small passerine bird in the flycatcher family Muscicapidae.
This is an insectivorous species which breeds in the north-west Himalayas in the Kashmir region. It is migratory and winters in the Western Ghats and in the hills of central Sri Lanka.

Kashmir Flycatcher _Bhargav DwarakiKashmir Flycatcher

It is 13 cm long.The male has a grey-brown back with an orange-red throat, breast and flanks, bordered with black on the throat and breast. Females and first-winter birds have slightly browner upper parts, and the red of the underparts reduced to just a pinkish wash.

Kashmir Flycatcher _Bhargav DwarakiKashmir Flycatcher

The Kashmir Flycatcher breeds in deciduous forest with dense undergrowth, nesting in a hole in a tree and laying 3-5 eggs which are incubated by the female. It winters in gardens, tea estates, forest edges, and open areas within forest, generally above 750 m.

The song is a short melodic sweet-eet sweet-eet-did-he, and the call is a sharp chak.

This migratory flycatcher is a vulnerable species with a decreasing population and breeding range, which is also severely fragmented as a result of the destruction of temperate mixed deciduous forests by commercial timber extraction, agriculture and livestock grazing.(Source – Wikipedia)

Both photos were taken in Ooty ,using Nikon D300s.Nikkor 70 – 300mm VR lens.

I had been to Ooty  with Vinod  during the  last week of march. It was a good birding trip. We got to see this rare bird along with many endemic species(including Black chinned Laughing Trush or Nilgiri Laughing Trush ). I made some good images of Grey headed  canary Flycatcher and Nilgiri Flycatcher (will post them soon) , I will definitely go back to photograph the endemics. We had gone in an  open jeep and it was great, we had to embrace the scorching heat and rain!(will tell more about this later)

Have a  Happy Weekend 🙂

Cheers,

Bhargav

 


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Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)

The Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae) is a small passerine bird in the flycatcher family. They are insectivorous species and are found in dense scrub to forest habitats.

It is a sparrow sized (14cm ) bird , it perches bolt upright a couple of meters from the ground,flicking its tail and uttering a sharp tick,tick from time to time.

Bhargav Dwaraki_Tickell's Blue flycatcherTickell’s Blue Flycatcher

Male has the upper parts indigo blue and their  forehead,supercilium and shoulders are azure blue , the throat and breast are orange – rufous and has white belly.Females are similar to male but are duller in color.

Bhargav Dwaraki _ Tickell's Blue Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher

They feed mainly  by capturing insects in flight but their prey include other insects such as termites and earwigs that may be gleaned or picked from the ground.They have an  unmistakable call which sounds tick – tick.( Source – Wikipedia and Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan)

Bhargav Dwaraki _Tickell's BlueTickell’s Blue Flycatcher

All 3 photos were taken in Nandi hills using Nikon D300s ,Nikkor 70 – 300mm VR lens.

Comments ,critics and suggestions are welcome 🙂

In the past 3 months I have made many visits to Nandi Hills and I Have struggled to photograph  here because of the tricky light condition . Out of  several visits  I have made , only the last two were good in terms of photography and I  learnt  how to handle the camera in such  condition.There is so much to learn!!And I am learning (slowly though). Saying that , every time I go to Nandi Hills I have a surprise waiting there each time. During each visit I get to see and learn something new , the last one being sighting of Pied Trush (Zoothera wardii) 🙂 . I really hope this continues 🙂

On a personnel note , I completed 23 years few days back and also completed 1.5 years in office. Office is  frustrating like never before I think I was confident of doing something (in life) when I was jobless and sitting at home than now (while working). Hope things get better(Soon , Plz!!).

Cheers,

Bhargav


2012

2012  has been good. I bought my first Camera in August  and have been doing quite well . When I started photography,I would just push the shutter button many times when I saw something, hoping that one would come out good. Now I use a more calculated approach, lots left to learn though .

I met some amazing people and  made some good friends . I haven’t traveled and trekked ,as much as I wanted to but will make up for  it this year 🙂

Well, 2012  has been the best year of my life so far. I hope 2013 gets  better than that 🙂

Happy new year people , Thanks for the support .Have a great year ahead 🙂

_DSC65152013Happy 2013:)


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.

ev2_DSC0498

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 🙂