I went back to Bharatpur a few weeks back in the 2nd week of February, after skipping a trip last Jan. What a wonderful place it is for birding and photography. It never fails to wow and I always have returned with some nice images and some great memories. The trip this year has some great highlights. But the last few images that I captured stands out.
I have always wanted an image of the Oriental Darter (aka Snakebird) fishing as I have observed that they have a lovely way of manoeuvring the fish in their beak before they toss it up and gulp it down in one smooth motion. So when Saravanan Janakarajan and I saw a Darter fly into the lake near the temple, we decided to wait there for some action.
Initially the Darter went to a corner below some dense foliage and out of view of our camera and came up with a fish in a jiffy. All we could do was to look and observe, disappointed that the action we were waiting for was out of our reach but glad to have seen it with our eyes anyway. Thankfully, he was not quite done. A couple of minutes later he was back in open view and diving. And he came up with a fish again. We were very thrilled to capture this action when I realised midway that in the landscape mode I was missing out on the reflection. I was thrilled that I had captured an action that I have been wanting to but there was this nagging thought of wanting to kick myself for not visualising a vertical frame and getting the reflection to complete the image.
Both of us were quite sure that he would be sated with his meal but we decided to hang around for a bit longer. And very obligingly he did this once more in a couple of minutes. Out in the open. And this time we were ready for a vertical frame – the darter, fish and reflection, all captured in a quick burst. Quite an efficient hunter, I must say.
Here is a sequence of 7 frames that I managed to capture of the action. Definitely will recommend that you skim through the entire sequence to experience the action.
Oriental Darter with catch, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, 10-Feb-2016, #Nikon D7200 | 600 f/4 | EV -2/3 | f/5.6 | ISO 250 | 1/640 | WB cloudy