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!



office said...

Very nicely written blog this is. I liked the course of the proceedings.
I liked all the images. I just wished you portrayed any one of them. I mean you should have been very very close to it! I know this is tough but reason why you should photograph them again!
You have done a great deal of injustice with small sizes. I wish you treat us with a bigger sized image. After all yeh dil maange more .

Ashwini Kumar Bhat said...

Thanks Prashant!
There were two reasons for not having a portrait -
1. They were quite far and 400mm was not enough, at least on that day, to make a portrait of those beauties.
2. I am not a fan of portraits. I prefer the animals and birds showcased in their environment. For me, the viewer should get at least a bit of idea of the habitat where it was shot. If you observe, except for that streaked weaver image, almost all of the others show a hint of the habitat - reeds, water bed etc. I complete;y agree with you that I have not done complete justice to the beauty of the bird, but for me its not by not having its portrait, but I could have shot them better according to my taste itself.
Now I have a reason to go again! :)
Thanks again,

pooni said...

These Photos are amazing..:) and its good to know these are in areas in Bangalore! Fabulous photography and writing as well... A viewing delight! Hope to see more!