Can scratching look cute?

Nov 12 2013

    You think NO!! Take a look at the following series… (Click on any of the images to view them large. Navigate using the buttons below the image.)     I repeat the question again – Can scratching look cute? 🙂     Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) The bird pictured in this series is a Common Kestrel. I came across this bird at Tal Chapar in October this year. Common Kestrels are winter visitors to large parts of India, with some breeding populations in Himalayas and Western Ghats. They are birds of open areas, preferring places like grasslands and shrublands. […]


Target acquired…locked…and…

Nov 08 2013

    It is always the element of surprise that makes wildlife photography thrilling. Like this sequence of a Montagu’s Harrier trying to find breakfast on a warm October morning at Tal Chapar. Can you guess how long this whole sequence would’ve lasted?   Harriers are winter migrants to the Indian subcontinent and are among the most graceful birds in a grassland. These birds of prey can be seen gliding gently a few metres above the ground scanning for prey. They are, in fact, so slow at times that it seems they would land on the ground soon. When they […]


Photography Technique – Laggar Falcon on the Ground

Oct 30 2013

      On my last morning at Tal Chapar this month, I came across a juvenile Laggar Falcon on the ground.   A few photographs later, I started wondering if I could better this image. What else could I have done? Read on…   No doubt, the direction of light was perfectly illuminating the Falcon. However, the angle was bothering me. I’d been clicking from the car window and was photographing the bird from the top. Not following the “holy grail” of wildlife photography – Eye-Level.   Since the others in the vehicle wanted to stay put, I decided […]


Photographing Jumping Blackbucks – Ethics

Oct 21 2013

      My last post on The Leaping Blackbucks of Tal Chapar posed a dilemma for me. As beautiful as running/jumping Blackbuck images look, there is always the worrisome aspect of provoking and chasing the animals to get the photograph.   Why is this worrisome? Blackbucks are animals of the grassland. Most of the places that they are found in receive very little rain (with total annual rainfall not exceeding a couple of days of rain in our metros). And, as we all know very well, running and jumping is really tiresome. With scarce food and water, the very survival of […]


The leaping Blackbucks of Tal Chapar

Oct 17 2013

      In so many visits to Tal Chapar, I’ve been rather partial to the feathered bipeds (read Birds) over the ubiquitous horned quadrupeds (read Blackbucks) that stroll this beautiful grassland. May be their sheer numbers in the park lulls one into forgetting the fact that they are declining everywhere else. So it was decided – this time around I would give more attention to these graceful antelopes. The first morning at Tal Chapar was very cloudy, a possible hangover from the late rains this year. Some parts of the park were still unmotorable. Seeing some Kestrels (small falcons) […]


Bonelli’s Eagle at a water-hole – Part 2

Oct 19 2012

    Continued from Part 1 of the story…   The Bonelli’s Eagle had settled down at the water-hole and seemed to be enjoying its place in the water.   From time to time, birds like House Crows (Corvus splendens) and Green Sandpipers (Tringa ochropus) would try to mob it to get it away from the water. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they too gave up. In a couple of instances, Green Sandpipers actually walked around nonchalantly in front of the Eagle.   Given that the Eagle was standing on one leg in water, it wouldn’t be able to get […]


Bonelli’s Eagle at a water-hole – Part 1

Oct 12 2012

    It started off just like another afternoon drive into the grasslands at Tal Chapar. Hoopoes and Eurasian Collared Doves were their usual busy selves – feeding, flying, preening. An occasional Harrier flew low over the grasslands looking for a potential snack.   We decided to check out the ponds within the park. The early October afternoon was still pretty warm and there was a chance of seeing some activity at the pond.  As we approached one of the ponds, we came across a Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata) on the embankment.   After scrutinizing its surroundings, it  decided to […]


A morning with Laggar Falcons

Oct 08 2012

    My visits to Tal Chapar Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan are always filled with exciting moments. From getting many many exciting lifers (seeing a bird for the first time – in birders’-tongue) to witnessing some breathtaking action and life’s wonders, it has been a dream destination for me. This time too, it was no different.   When I arrived at Tal Chapar in late September this year, it was a grassland transformed into a green carpet by the delayed monsoons. Tall green grass grew everywhere, except a few areas in the park. When I set out on my first morning […]