Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Long Billed Vultures

Ramanagara is probably the best place to see these beauties. Though vultures are best known as scavangers, LBVs have their own charm. We nearly spent more than 3 hours with them. They just seem to enjoy the sun and laze around.

Finally after a long wait, they started taking off and i managed to capture this.

Shaheen Falcons!!

Last weekend we had been to Ramnagara to take the picture of Long billed vultures. Prema after a long time accompanied us which was great! I guess it was lucky, for i had a lifer - Shaheen falcon. Though didnt get a great shot, i managed couple of decent record shots. We initially thought this was Peregrine Falcon, but Gautham found out that this is Shaheen a subspecies of Peregrine Falcon. Man there is so much to learn about raptors, but i guess this year is dedicated to raptors for me :-)

The one below is heavily cropped.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Nictitating Membrane

Here is an interesting pic of Steppe Eagle, where you can see a translucent layer in its eye.

I got to know that its called membrane, present in birds, reptiles, amiphibians and fish. Here is the definition from wikipedia:

"The nictitating membrane (from Latin nictare, to blink) is a transparent or translucent third eyelid present in some animals that can be drawn across the eye for protection and to moisten the eye while also keeping visibility"
Follow the link for some additional info on Nictitating Membrane


Hesaraghatta has been a happy hunting ground for us, and as Gautham mentioned it has become an African safari for bird photographers in bangalore! The habitat is perfect with lot of shrubs and open space. Anyway sunday's trip though a surprise factor for me in terms of the Jackal twins' appearance, it was the best birding trip till date for me to watch raptors. I had couple of lifers Montagu Harrier and Marsh Harrier and managed to capture them on camera.

Here's Montagu Harrier female, who was very co-operative

This is another lifer, Marsh Harrier. The quality of this pic is not great as we managed to get this early morning, when the lighting was pretty poor.

I am not sure of its ID, but seems like the Marsh Harrier Juvenile. Would be great if anybody can confirm. Again taken with the first rays of sunlight

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Day of the Jackal

Yesterday Gautham, Nagesh and me had gone to Hesarghatta to shoot Kestrel and Montagu Harrier (Montagu & Marsh). We reached quite early. It was indeed an eventful trip, which i will not be able to cover in a single post! The biggest suprise though was the Jackal pair. While Gautham knew about their presence from INW, for me it was a complete surprise. We were trying to shoot Montagu harrier female and suddenly Gautham shouted Jackal. There were not one but a couple, and we were hard pressed to decide what to shoot. Though i shot several shots of the Jackal, during post processing i was really disappointed for not having any better quality pics. Anyway here are couple of images.

I kind of like the next image, though it is not as sharp as i would like, because of the habitat that is seen.

There are several lifers for me in this trip, like Montagu harrier, Marsh Harrier and Steppe Eagle which i will post later.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

T G Halli

On Saturday Gautham, Murthy and myself decided to go to T G Halli. It is an excellent place where lot of river terns can be seen flying and fishing. Here are some of the pics. I wish i had got more sharper images. This is one area i really need to figure out, especially when taking flight shots. Also i guess i need to improve my post-processing skills.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Last week had been to Hesaraghatta with Gautham and Manoj. We were a little late when we went there (reached at about 7:30 AM) but it wouldn't have mattered as the place was covered with thick fog. After waiting for quite some time, when we watched a Marsh Harrier, some shrikes and several drongos, we were almost desperate for some light and we decided to have idli, vada. I guess that was what triggered the sunlight to come out! We managed to get the kestrels, which we came to photograph and the blue jay