I settled down my self at my favorite spot. I went there specially for pintails (My favorite bird!). But I didn't found any thing than suddenly from air an Egret landed like an angel specially for me! With a big smile & rush I pointed my camera at the Egret & started shooting it. While shooting it I noticed an pintail coming from bushes behind it. I became more happy as finally my HERO had arrived. I observed that there were very less pintails than the regular. There were only 3 males & 2 females. They were very quite than usual & were busy in collecting food with their head up-side down in water. It looks funny when the pintail put it's full head in the water to collect the food. The tail comes up & we can see why they are called pintails clearly.
I was waiting for some more moments of pintails like wing flapping or bathing or preening. I was moving my head to scan the whole lake & found some thing interesting it was a common snipe with long beak & basic pattern. It was first time I saw it in such open water area. Still it was under shade & was difficult to photograph. I saw it collecting food. I observed the beautiful pattern on the back & head of the snipe also saw a red tail. after some time it came out & suddenly another snipe came flying & landed over there. I feel like having a jackpot! I started clicking but the one snipe was profile & another was with it's back towards me. I waited for front one to move it's face towards me but my hard luck as it flew away. I still was happy with the image as I got the full beak & pattern clearly.
After Some time a big group of painted Storks & spoon bills landed & started fishing with out waiting for others. & also started snatching fishes from the neighbors. I found them a bit manner less (Just joking!). It was very nice watching their moments... There were about 20+ Painted Storks & 10 Spoon bills.
They had very big fishes in their beaks. Some of them were tossing the fish in air before eating. I tried very hard to click that moment. Their movements were very sudden & was hard to click at the time. I wasted about 10 click. After such hard try Finally I got the shots I wanted.
There were no more ducks except 2-3 Shovellers & Common Teals. I was thinking of what to shoot. I found a Black-winged Still bathing. It was very interesting to watch it bathing. It bent the legs to sit down & started spreading water on all over the body using it's head. It's always interesting to watch birds swimming or preening. The water drops all over the body looks amazing. & the best part is when they throw water on their back. The sprinkles of water makes the mood even more beautiful & interesting.
After some times I saw the grebes playing in water. They sat quite & started swimming. The rear one was following the front one very fast. Suddenly the front one started running on water so did the behind one. I was ready with my camera & started shooting them. They were just an inch away from a small land top coming out of the water. I got only 2 shots & then only land as grebes were running behind it. But it was worth having 2 clicks.
They were looking very cute even their fast movements were exciting. I have always difficulty in photographing grebes. That was the first time I was satisfied with my grebe photo. Their tiny wings, tiny beak, innocent expressions, small legs & beautiful colors are always great to watch. How beautiful they are! Frankly speaking at first I was a bit disappointed with the place as it had not as much activity as I usually see at the place. But than I thought that it's nature & it's always like this. It's not we always get what we think of or what we want. After such positive thoughts The movements started & God started making me happy by each & every movement. After some times I had question that what to see & shoot! I wanted to grab each & every moment surround me with my camera. I wanted all the moments for my own memory & also to share with others. I wanted to show every one how beautiful & amazing nature is!
The place where I sit have a specialty. You can see some species as daily routine at the selected points. Like the Tawny Pipit have the fixed point where one can definitely see the Tawny Pipit sitting, preening, Singing. After some times I heard the sound of Tawny Pipit behind me & knew it's presence. I slowly moved my head (With camera) It was only 5-10 inches away from me. I was about to raise my hand to touch it. It was sitting their very quite. After some times it ran a bit far & was far enough to focus. I made only one image as I already had all the possible poses of it. It's always great to saw it's habits.
I was waiting for some waders to come as I needed them. I love waders though they have very less attractive colors compared to other birds. They are always pretty (& dirty). They are challenging in all the aspects like identification, Photography, Spotting, getting near to them. & I love challenges. After some times I found some of the tiny waders collecting food. There were Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Little Stint, Temmnick's Stint, Black-tailed Godwit & Pied Avocet, Common Redshank. I tried to shoot them all. I missed some but still was satisfied with them. They were all looking very beautiful. Here are some of the waders I saw on that day.
When I was shooting them I saw a wagtail coming towards me. It was running like a mad. Don't know the reason. But it was quite funny to look it. It was making too much noise & was moving it's tail up-down as usual. The colors of Wagtails were very good. Specially the yellow head was bright enough to draw one's attention towards it.
Between the water there were a land part invisible for our eyes. As most of the birds had done their breakfast they started coming one after another & started doing some very attractive & interesting movements like preening, wing flapping etc. The main attraction was little grebe as it came on that land part stretched the body to make it self a bit tall & started flapping the wings. It was the first time I saw such movements of Grebe that too out side of water. It was very exciting & beautiful moment. After the grebe at the same point I saw Common Teal & shoveller preening.
As it was about 11 AM most of the bird became very calm. The Common Teal & Shoveller left after preening. They got behind the bushes to prevent their self from hard sun light. It was time to move for me too. But I don't wanted to as I found it the most beautiful place on Earth. The swimming Shovellers & Common Teals were something you can not avoid. I kept looking at their colors & movements. They were drinking water & were trying to make their body temperature down.
Before I left the place I saw some beautiful moments of Excellent birds. I saw Red-wattled Lapwing with Painted Stork in BG. Two Painted Storks crossing each other. An Indian Cormorant Sitting after fishing & water splash! Two Gadwalls with their backs facing each other. May be the couple had fight regarding gifts or shopping. Or may be the male would have been late after office! (LOL). At once I saw the Western Reef egret so close to me that I got the Close-up shot of it.
Western Reef Egret
At the End of the day for the first time I didn't make a single image of Pintail. At that day my HERO was Little Grebe. It was quite nice time I had over there.
© Vatsal Trivedi