Thursday 28 December 2023

Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary

வெள்ளை அரிவாள் மூக்கன்

 Quick drive to Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary

As soon as I received the Nikon Z180-600mm lens, I desperately wanted to test it and take some photographs of birds, predominantly in action / flight. After all that was the main purpose of getting this lens.

But the recent rains in Chennai and surrounding areas put a hurdle on the plans. Finally, got a chance this past weekend to do a testing. Along with a couple of friends I visited the Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh, just across the border of Chennai.

Though the morning was misty, I did not have any hesitations in pushing the lens and the camera to a high shutter speed / ISO. Here are some of the photos taken during the 2 hours trip to the Bird Sanctuary.


Though the Robin seems to be perched quietly, it was jumping around quite a bit in the early morning.
பச்சை பஞ்சுருட்டான்

The Green bee-eater against the sun and some colourful flowers in the foreground were a lovely start for the day.

நத்தை குத்தி நாரை

The juvenile waiting eagerly for the parent to return back with food.

நத்தை குத்தி நாரை

Taking the first flight in the morning

நீளவால் தாழைக்கோழி

The non-breeding plumage of the Pheasant-tailed Jacana was quite a different site compared to the long tail it gets during the breeding season. Will have to visit again to see if we get to see one in its full splendor.

வெள்ளை அரிவாள் மூக்கன்

These were some of the fast fliers. The lens did good to stick to the eye of the bird!


Warming up slowly to the winter morning


சின்ன நீர்க்காகம்

Yet another fast flier. But no problems in getting the picture in focus!

Collecting twigs for building the nest. In the next couple of months there will be lot of feeding activities for the younger ones!

கொண்டை நீர்க்காகம்

This was only a very short trip. Hope to have more action photos of bird with this lens.


Friday 26 August 2022

Bird Photography - Ramanagara


Bird Photography at Ramanagara

Recently had the opportunity to test the Nikon F mount 400mm f2.8 lens along with the Nikon Z9 using FTZ2 adapter. So this was completely a Bird Photography rather than bird watching. Photos were taken from a hide about 10 to 15 feet away from the bird perch.

Initially wanted to use the 1.4TC as well, but since we were in a hide and the birds were only about 10 feet away, I did not require it for most of the birds. Might have been useful for the bulbuls and white-eyes, but it would have been difficult for the bigger birds like the spurfowl or treepie.

So decided to use the 400mm at 400 itself to see what I get. All photos are shot with Manual Exposure mode, but when the sun keeps hiding behind the clouds and the place becomes a bit darker, I switch to Auto ISO.

Saturday 20 August 2022

Karzok and Tso Moriri

Panoramic view of Karzok

Karzok and Tso Moriri

If there is one word, other than the obvious adjective of "majestic", to describe the Himalayas that would be "RUGGED". Yes, that would be in BOLD and CAPS!

Above a certain altitude the Himalayas is more of a desert than anything else. Coming from the southern part of India where the western ghats are more of a rainforest, this view of HImalayas was a completely different experience for me.

A summer morning at Karzok

Equally rugged and remote is the village of Karzok near the Tso Moriri lake. I am still wondering how this village even came into existence in such a remote part of the Himalayas. Unlike the Pangong lake, this place is not even connected by proper roads. A decently laid road maybe about 30 km away at the very least! Electricity is provided in ration and cannot expect a continuous supply.

Stacked up stones with prayers written on them is a part of the culture

The sweeping vistas and blowing winds give this place such a feeling that one cannot describe in words. Even during the peak summer the winds can send a shiver to the bones. Along with the strong winds comes the mud and sand as well which is what these rugged mountains are made of!

Closer view of Karzok

Apart from cattle herding and tourism, which is not much in the harsh winters, there is not much of business going on in here. However, there is a charm to this village, perfectly complimenting the rugged nature of the Himalayas.

Here are some photos from the Karzok village and the rugged Himalayas photographed at various places in my trip!

Stupa on the top of the village.

Sun rising behind the mountains beyond Tso Moriri

Prayer wheels at the monastery lit by the morning sun

Morning prayers are the Stupa

Karzok on the banks of Tso Moriri on a summer morning

Tso Moriri

Dramatic morning sky over Karzok and Tso Moriri

Why should a sunrise always have the Golden Yellow hue?

Well, it has been over a month since I returned from this incredible place, but I am yet to get over the amazing place! But there is more to the Himalayas. I will come back soon with more.

If you enjoyed the virtual journey, do plan to make a real one and share your experience!

A volcano? Nah, just a mountain spewing some clouds!