Date: 23rd March 2009
Place: Karanji Lake, Mysore
I have always loved photographing Birds mid air – there is a certain thrill in freezing time as a Bird elegantly glides across.
Anhinga Melanogaster (Darter Bird):
Karanji Lake has turned out to be an ideal habitat for the Darter; I see more and more Darters in action with every visit. Though they are excellent swimmers, it’s quite an ordeal for them to get airborne. Unlike Ducks their feathers are not waterproofed by oil, so they dry their feathers for a few seconds by hanging it out of water and then with a big push they kick the water and start flapping their wings. With wings beating hard they still have to virtually hop on the water for quite a distance before taking to the air.
There were plenty of Storks around busy in building nests and generally flying around.
Chamundi hill radio tower in the background.
The Cormorant catches fish in a similar way as the Darter Bird, i.e. underwater; ergo even this bird has no waterproofing for its feathers and struggles in the same way to take flight as the Darter.
The Cormorant above, it appears, has gone loony; I have never seen or heard of a Cormorant catching fish this way. Well, it might note be trying to catch fish (beats me what else it was up to), but it sure was zipping across the water surface – had to pan my camera in a hurry to catch this shot.
Have seen many of these winged beauties before but never had I managed to capture any mid-air shots –
Reason 1. These birds are quite timid and take to flight before I get near
Reason 2. Their coat is made up of the shining white variety, very difficult to get the ideal lighting and background to get a decent photo.
A painted stork maneuvering down to its nest.