Friday, December 30, 2011

Delhi Fog – 30.12.11


Woke up this morning to a world that was wrapped in a cocoon of fog…..


some views from my rooftop at 0900 hrs….


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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas….

even flowers bedeck themselves in red and green to get into the Christmas Spirit :-)

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Indian Bushlark @ Sultanpur….

The Indian Bushlark (Mirafra erythroptera) is a small bird that is quite abundant in arid areas. 




Friday, December 23, 2011

Painted Stork @ Sultanpur


The Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a large wading bird in the stork family._MG_9863

They are found in the wetlands of the plains of India and other countries of South Asia.  Their distinctive pink tertial feathers give them their name. They forage in flocks in shallow waters along rivers or lakes. They immerse their half open beaks in water and sweep them from side to side and snap up their prey of small fish that are sensed by touch. As they wade along they also stir the water with their feet to flush hiding fish.


They nest colonially in trees, often along with other waterbirds.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter mornings at Sultanpur…. part 2


The sound of woodpeckers moved us towards this patch of trees, where we saw not one but two woodpeckers of different species, digging for insects from the dead branches of a tree.

_MG_9786This one is a Yellow-crowned Woodpecker (Dendrocopos mahrattensis), which is a pied (black and white) woodpecker.









and this is a Black Rumped Flameback_MG_9789 (Dinopium benghalense)












_MG_9787In addition to these two, the thicket was also home to a pair of Scarlet Minivets (Pericrocotus flammeus) which is a small, very brightly coloured bird.





And another Hoopoe, shown below.













Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Marsh Harrier @ Sultanpur…


The marsh harriers are birds of prey of the harrier subfamily. They are medium-sized raptors and the largest and broadest-winged harriers. Most of them are associated with marshland and dense reed beds


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter mornings at Sultanpur…. part 1

Come winters and enthusiastic bird-watchers flock to lakes and marshes around Delhi to view and photograph migratory birds that come here to breed in large numbers.

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is situated 40 kilometres from Delhi and is a delight to everyone who visits. Since the numbers of birds are numerous, this post will be split into several posts to share all the photographs.

The morning started off with us taking the past least taken :-) which was in a clockwise direction around the lake, as most visitors (non-birdwatchers usually) take the anti-clockwise path. Cosmerodius albus

The air was still a bit hazy although it was around 10 in the morning, but the nip in the air was really enjoyable. One of the first birds we saw was a Large Egret (Cosmerodius albus) (shown above) wading through the shallow waters while a Hoopoe (Upupa epops) was flitting in and out of the trees, and searching for insects on the ground. (shown below)

Upupa epops

But the most fun was when we spotted a (female?) Black-winged Stilt or Common Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) which usually feeds on insects and small crustaceans trying to swallow a fish. We spent  about 10 minutes seeing its attempts at trying to swallow the fish before moving on :-)


The next set of pics will be posted tomorrow

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Last Lunar Eclipse of 2011…

Clear skies and a early eclipse prompted a lot of shutter-bugs (photogs) to take to the skies to capture this beautiful phenomenon. Given the fact that most lunar eclipses that i know of usually happen late at night (around midnight) this was a lovely opportunity to shoot the lovely moon.


Normal moon photography is not too much of an issue, as the settings are more or less fixed,


but this was the first time I shot a Lunar Eclipse and it was a couple of hours of experimentation that went into the whole thing.  While the normal moon photographs like the one above and below were take with the following settings,

F/11, Shutter – 0.05 seconds (1/20), ISO – 400, focal length – 300 mm.


But these looked like photos of a normal moon, a bit orange – red coloured, but otherwise normal, while the moon i was seeing was awesome…. so once I tried to show the eclipse, as I was actual seeing it, I was stumped. Trying to get the parts in shadow meant that the lit part was over-exposed.


But persisted with different settings, and finally got some good pics….


Got a nice one of the total eclipse….


and finally the total eclipse….


And the return of light :-)



Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Fountain of life…


Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,

But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.

For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,

And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,

And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.

~~ Khalil Gibran – The Prophet

Friday, December 02, 2011

Mud, dust and masti….

Remote Controlled Car Racing or RC Car racing is a very popular sport around the world, with dedicated grounds /  areas  although in India, due to prohibitive costs, this sport is yet to gain popularity…. below are some images of some trial runs held at a field outside Bangalore….




_MG_0272 _MG_0198