Friday, June 12, 2009

On a cloudy day....

The morning was cloudy and so was my mood! Was not in full josh to shoot as I had to return home early to welcome one of my friends who was visiting Bangalore. The previous evening it had rained a bit and was full cloudy. I had closed my eyes on the bed hoping for the sky to clear up but may be GOD had already slept that time and my wish went unheard.

Morning, the road was still wet and there were multi layered clouds with no hope of clearing anytime. I was waiting for my new friend with whom I was heading in search of Red Munias again.

From the past couple of reports I knew that the Munias leave their places very early and by the time the light improves it will be just a history of the previous day that the Munias had come there! I was not wrong! the situation was same there!

After searching for some time got a chance to see a small kingfisher which was sitting on a thin perch. As my friend approached it and clicked few shots, it changed its mood and flew to somewhere else. As I was not keep on portraits, I dint bother to go behind that but stood near to that place observing some other birds. For my luck, it came back but this time on an interesting perch! As the sky was cloudy and the light was low but even, provided a nice opportunity to make some simple compositions.

I was left with only half an hour more and then I found a small colony (or a layout?!) of Baya Weavers which was under construction!

The bird was visiting once in every 10-12 min and was there only for few seconds.

The light was dull and it was windy as well. I tried overexposing the frames to get a high key background and tried different compositions.

Not having anything else in the frame and only whites all over, suited to my taste and in the next 15 mins I made some frame before I was reminded to return early.

Satisfied with few decent images for the day and as I started my car and headed back home I saw two Red Munias biding me adieu! :)


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Once I had asked - "Give me RED!"

It was alomost two years ago when I first saw a picture of a very colorful bird which is found around Bangalore and which gets its striking colors in the monsoons. I was spell bounded when I saw the colors! Till then I had seen that kind of striking and vivid colors only in the birds of rain forests while watching them on NGC/Animal Planet with Attinbarough's nattarion!

This bird was an equal competitor when it came to having vivid and striking colors and at its best in June/July! Since then I was searching verymuch for that winged wonder! Red Munia (or Red Avadavat) is the common name and sceintifically - Amandava amandava it is.

From quite a couple of weeks those were being reported from one of the water bodies around Kommaghatta region and I was curious to visit there. Thanks to many of the other reasons which kept me busy and at last last Sunday I pulled Pramod S V to join me to visit that place.
No expetations as usual and that is how we Nature Photographers start our every visit. That is one of the big lessons that every Nature Photographer will learn as and when he spends more and more time in the field! Evening was our plan and when we reached near the place, the sight from far itself was very positive. Quite a large number of Common Coots were floating happily on the water bed. It had been some time since I had seen those many number of coots together.

Initial some time were spent looking for the opportunity for making some images of Coot itself. There was almost no sign of Red Munias. But I had seen some Weaver birds flying around. When I decided to check out another shooting place nearby i got a good encounter with Streaked Weaver bird. It was there on a perch for a brief moment and gave me pose for couple of frame before it decided to move away.

When I was stepping back to my initial place, along with Pramod, is when we saw the first glimpse of Red Munias! There were 4 -5 of them and they already had a group of photographers to welcome them. Need less to say we also joined the party...but only to found out that they are just disappeared into the tall reeds of the lake.

Sun was going down fast and the light was becoming golden. the only thing remaining to make it a heaven was the presence of Red Munias, preferably on some interesting perch!! :D After petroling the area for sometime we noticed that the birds are coming in groups and sittig somewhere in the middle of the reeds. On closed observation, we noticed that most of them were Red Munias and some had Scaly breasted Munias as well.

The Streaked Weavers were also flying occasionally to collect some nesting materials. the overall ambience was very busy from the birds prespective and the reeds of the lake had transformed from mere collection of grass blades into the homes for some of the most colorful birds found in India.
by the time we came out from the realm of the colorful birds we realised that the Sun was already down and the camera was asking to push the ISO beyond 800 if I were to make any image. We decided to call it a day and boy! what a day it was!

Once when I was struggling to see even a single bird (Asking GOD - 'Give me RED (munia)!!') I had never thought even in my dreams that I will be witnessing so many of them some day.

Trust me, they are very very colorful!