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Old 2nd January 2013, 18:39   #16
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Neo and other birding experts,
How exactly do you differentiate between a Greater and a Lesser Flamingo? I have read vague descriptions on the net, but really find it difficult to differentiate between them.
I google images for such species and then sub species. I then try and match the bird with the results with overall appearance and then beak pattern, feathers etc etc. I know its not full proof but works most of the time. I have another bird who is into birding since some years now so take his help when in doubt.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 20:18   #17
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

Thank you Neo for the splendid classic snaps. Makes me finally think of Bhigwan trip soon, have been on backburner since ages. As SDP said, it is definitely a night-stay for Bombay folks. Will try hunt for the stays over there and plan.

This is what the difference would be as I have been trying to identify based on this basis mostly. But when you see them close-by you can distinguish based on the heights surely.

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The clearest difference between the two species is that the greater flamingo has a pale pink bill with a contrasting black tip while the lesser flamingo has a dark crimson bill. The lesser flamingo is also shorter and redder in color.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 20:37   #18
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Neo and other birding experts,
How exactly do you differentiate between a Greater and a Lesser Flamingo? I have read vague descriptions on the net, but really find it difficult to differentiate between them.
Greater Flamingos are light Pink and bear less number of Pink feathers (mostly only on wings). Lesser Flamingos have more dark Pink (including neck and wings when compared to Greater flamingos)

Greater Flamingos have pink beak with black tip, where as Less Flamingoes have completely black beak.

Here is more clear flight shot of a Black kite and it almost matches with the under wing and tail feather pattern (2nd file)

A Marsh Harrier should have some part of its head and wing joints covered with white feathers (1st file)
Attached Thumbnails
Birding at its best. EDIT: December 2015 updates!-176318_1835305923175_5724492_o.jpg  

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Last edited by guyonblackybx : 2nd January 2013 at 20:53.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 20:44   #19
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

Birding at its best. EDIT: December 2015 updates!-dsc_0255.jpg

Is the one in front Greater Flamingo and the one in the back Lesser Flamingo?
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Old 2nd January 2013, 21:29   #20
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

Both of the above look to me the Lesser Flamingos. Look at post#2 http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3004757 of this log and all of them are Greater Flamingos. Check the beaks. Very distinctive.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 21:33   #21
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

Awesome pics Neon. Although this place is a bit far from Hyd (450 kms), I am dead sure to go in the 1st week of Feb during the weekends.

This is sure to put my DSLR and my skills to good test. Just wanted to confirm if the birds will be there till early Feb.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 21:34   #22
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

Great photos Neo. Thanks for all the information. Never heard of this place, despite being a long timer in Pune.

Wildlife photography itself is challenging and birds in particular even more so. Could you write a bit of tips and tricks, the gadgets that are useful etc. If you don't mind, what kind of camera did you use et.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 22:21   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gauravdgr8
Awesome pics Neon. Although this place is a bit far from Hyd (450 kms), I am dead sure to go in the 1st week of Feb during the weekends.

This is sure to put my DSLR and my skills to good test. Just wanted to confirm if the birds will be there till early Feb.
Last year I heard birds were present till April end. But see if u can come down by Jan end
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Old 2nd January 2013, 22:31   #24
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Attachment 1033715

Is the one in front Greater Flamingo and the one in the back Lesser Flamingo?
You are right. The one in the front is a Greater ( More whitish with pink feathers and covets). Lesser is the one behind which is more pinkish and smaller in size compared to the greater
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Old 3rd January 2013, 09:46   #25
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

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Originally Posted by mayuresh View Post
Great photos Neo. Thanks for all the information. Never heard of this place, despite being a long timer in Pune.

Wildlife photography itself is challenging and birds in particular even more so. Could you write a bit of tips and tricks, the gadgets that are useful etc. If you don't mind, what kind of camera did you use et.
Well, I am not an expert for sure. This was my first Birding trip in my photography career of an year . However, I would like to share the following thoughts, it would be great if it helps you.

1. Gear: Canon 1100D and 100-400 L lens with its hood
2. I used partial metering most of the time (Spot metering is not available on my camera). This was used for good exposure on the bird than the entire scene.
3. When I was shooting birds in flight, I used shutter speed of 1/1000 or more. I was not particular about the Aperture since most of the time there was not any background to blur it and achieve bokeh. So most of the pics are shot in "TV" mode (S in Nikon)
4. For birds sitting on branch/in the shallow water, I tried to use fast shutter with large aperture to achieve a good crisp pic and nice bokeh to minimize the clutter
5. For single birds in flight, I used all focusing points and for multiple birds, I used the center focusing point
6. My camera was always in the AI servo mode which keeps on focusing continuously and always used the continuous shooting mode. Most of the time I clicked at least 7-8 images of the same bird and then decided on one which is nice and crisp. My ISO was always set to 200, post this my camera sucks. The noise is amplified after 200 ISO.
7. I retouched the pics in lightroom for cropping and minor adjustment for the contrast and exposure if its not good.

Well, these are the points which worked for me. There is NO right or wrong method for photography. Its difficult to achieve a good composition in bird photography since you can not ask them to sit at any particular location. Go with your gut feeling and crop whenever necessary.

There are so many photography experts on this forum. I always liked pics posted by "amolpol" on this forum. His birding pics are just awesome. I hope he would visit the thread and guide us all to improve on our skills.

Last edited by neoonwheels : 3rd January 2013 at 09:48.
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Old 6th February 2013, 16:28   #26
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayuresh View Post
Great photos Neo. Thanks for all the information. Never heard of this place, despite being a long timer in Pune.

Wildlife photography itself is challenging and birds in particular even more so. Could you write a bit of tips and tricks, the gadgets that are useful etc. If you don't mind, what kind of camera did you use et.
Yes Mayuresh, both wildlife and Bird photography is challenging. Not because of the gear, but due to the nature of the subject. Tips and tricks:

1. Know your subject, learn about its habits (like what kind of food it eats, what kinda of habitat it lives in)
2. Research about the birds life cycle, mating, nesting, migrating seasons etc
3. Study the flight pattern this will help you in planning you shot well in advance. Landing and take off shots you need to find out the patter of how a bird closes or spreads its wings so that you know when to click for a specific stage of flight/landing/take off
4. Plan your trip with details like which places are going to stop by for how long and what kind of birds do you expect to spot.

Coming to the gear and settings:
1. Any of the DSLR available in the market, a compact zoom or bridge camera like Nikon P510 or Canon Sx30IS can do the job
2. Lens for DSLRs: For birding anything above 300mm (Primes are the best) for mammals a range of 100-200 will be sufficient.
3. Tripods if you want to spend lot of time at one spot. If you plan a trek or walk carry a mono pod. If you are in a vehicle then get a bean bag
4. For flight/action shots use Shutter priority. (Don't forget to change the ISO into auto mode).
5. Use Continuous/burst mode, make sure you have enough space in the memory card and batteries are fully charged.
6. Spot metering is the best option, if not then partial metering.
7. Try shooting in raw so that you don't need to worry about white balance and accidental over or underexposure
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Old 8th February 2013, 19:12   #27
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

Great photographs Neo!! Bhigwan is an awesome place for birding this time of the year, for sure. My two cents on some of the bird ids:

1) The sandpiper pic is of the Wood Sandpiper - identified by the yellowish legs, heavily speckled upperparts, and prominent supercilium behind the eye.AFAIK, there isn't any Spotted Sandpiper, there is a Spotted Redshank, but that has orange-red legs.

2) As far as i can make out, both the tern pictures are of Whiskered Terns

3) Also, as mentioned by guyonblackybx, the picture is of a black kite, not a Marsh Harrier, as suggested by the buffish streaking of the underparts, and whitish crescent at primary bases on underwing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Neo and other birding experts,
How exactly do you differentiate between a Greater and a Lesser Flamingo? I have read vague descriptions on the net, but really find it difficult to differentiate between them.
A few points on the key differences between Greater and lesser flamingos, apart from the obvious size difference (The Greater is larger)

- Lesser flamingos have shorter necks and legs; bill is smaller and dark red and black-tipped, as against a larger, paler pink and dark tipped.
- Also the lesser shows a more restricted area of darker pink on the upper wing than the greater.

Again, great pictures and write-up Neo!
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Old 8th February 2013, 21:08   #28
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Default re: Birding at its best - "Updated for Jan 2013 visit"

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Pied Kingfisher - Not very sure though

Attachment 1033496
That's a whiskered tern
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Old 9th February 2013, 01:18   #29
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You got real talent man! To click pictures like these and have the kind of knowledge of species makes you a Pro-Ornithologist!!

Great to see you make the most of Both of your passions-Automobiles & Avian Photography!! :
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Old 9th February 2013, 09:43   #30
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Thanks a lot guys for the kind words and pointing out mistakes This was my first attempt of bird photography
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