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Old 3rd April 2017, 12:37   #1
M35
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Default Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad

I am sharing some of my best photographs here as a consolation for the loss of my ‘Scorp’ which had met with an accident and totaled, some three months ago. All the images being shared here were taken in the presence of Scorp, my lone companion during my humble birding trails.

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I now realize how close you were to me and my family and what an influence you had on our lives. Destiny it is. One of us had to leave and it was you who sacrificed at the end, pulling all of us miraculously out of the jaws of death. I am at a loss of words and you will continue to remain irreplaceable in our hearts for the rest of our lives !!


I had gotten my vacation extended last year with the arrival of a new member in the family. Palakkad being my native, ended up spending most part of the vacation in there.

Every time I woke up early and heard birds calling, that passionate appetite chased me out of the bedroom instantly. Picks up the photo gear, crank starts the ‘Scorp’ and takes off the portico – almost became a routine. It wasn’t the destination but the lazy drive through those remote and quiet village/hill roads, those beautiful paddy fields – all meant fresh air and some great birding opportunities.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc9915edit22.jpg

The returning of Baya Weavers to the rice fields of Palakkad:

There have been concerns of huge drop in the numbers of Baya Weavers due to the decline in Paddy field cultivation and reduced south-west monsoon in Palakkad. But looked like they are back in large numbers as I could always spot them during all my outings. The new developments in agricultural farming might have brought them back to this region.

Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc54754.jpg
A Gossip session, perhaps !

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th April 2017 at 15:49.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 14:00   #2
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Birds in Action

The cycle of rice is about 5-6 months I guess. I was fortunate to witness various stages of it last year. A ten minute drive from home takes me to Mankara-Kottayi stretch, on either side of which is the beautiful rice fields. It was great fun watching, alongside birding, the process like preparing the field, dropping the seed etc. Like the moment for harvest, the moment of a photograph, too is very critical.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc1918edit2edit8.jpg

As I was closely watching a Black Kite, this Indian Roller came right in to my radar. Lucky that I could get the focus locked on this beauty as it was flying past me in no time. Yes, its a keeper ! I do see almost every time these blue jays perched along the wires and am yet to get a perfect shot with the bird on a natural perch.In flight the bright blue, turquoise and that lovely indigo are clearly visible.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc2296editedit6.jpg

I was watching this Brahminy Kite for some time. Capturing these bird of prey gets a bit challenging if you want to shoot them while in interesting actions. Their descend can be very quick at times and tracking the bird through out its flight to get that special moment demands a lot of patience.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc65875edit.jpg

Kingfishers love the season too. This White-throated kingfisher was spotted enjoying a late evening meal. It was well past sunset and was about to rain. In dim light I could close in and get a decent image handheld.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc55692.jpg

Back to Brahminy Kites again. These are opportunistic scavengers and they are in plenty here with other most common being Black Kite. Usually found by Bharathapuzha and rice paddies around. These are easily recognized by white head and chest. These magnificent raptors eat about anything and I could get a couple pulling out Crabs from the field.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc8866.jpg

It was my wifey who spotted this gorgeous bird of prey, the Crested Hawk Eagle high up on a tree in the neighborhood. A heavy crop from a long shot.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc05952.jpg

I had a very close encounter with this Crested serpent eagle one afternoon. Again taken from my Scorpio which quietly drove close enough. Locked the focus first on the bird perched on a short tree. As I opened the window poking the lens out, the eagle took off but got a couple of images before it vanished in to the nearby jungle.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc3056edit22.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th April 2017 at 15:48.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 18:26   #3
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Enough of the beasts.

Now time for some birds which exude sheer beauty and elegance. First up - a common Hoopoe !
Was found busy nibbling down some grains I thought. Got off the vehicle, grounded and soiled managing to get a decent enough image. Had captured a much better Hoopoe while birding at Munnar though.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc2629edit2.jpg

A Greater Coucal.
Lovely morning light, once again taken from Scorp.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc80572edit2.jpg

A Common Hawk Cuckoo I guess.
Again through the driver side window. It started raining heavily and I was on my way back and suddenly this beauty came straight in front for a couple of seconds. Lovely spotting that.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc81094.jpg

A Plum-headed parakeet ! A male I guess. There were a lot of these and the poor farmer was finding it hard chasing them away from the paddy. Just about the harvesting time, these come down in large numbers.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc2656edit3.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th April 2017 at 15:46.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 20:29   #4
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Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc97378.jpg

Sunbirds always fascinated me. These are small little jewels thanks to their glittering iridescent colors. Amazing they are, their small size, their nectar feeding behavior and the way they hover at flowers - quite fun to shoot, compositions could be a bit of a challenge though.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc1048edit.jpg

All these Purple rumped sunbirds captured from our garden. They usually come in pair with some sharp calling. They can get disturbed easily. I had the liberty to make my bedroom a hide and shoot them away to glory though.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc82493.jpg

A beautiful Leafbird captured at dusk.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc60944.jpg

An Orange Minivet
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc72592.jpg

The beautiful Ashy Prinia.There are too many of these around, restlessly moving around the long grass bushes. Though the continuous call makes it easy to spot these birds, their restlessness makes them a very hard subject for photography.
Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad-_dsc49427.jpg

Full wing span and show off !
A Green Bee eater returning after a kill. Lots of these around and if one is patient enough and know their behaviors, you can easily come back home with some keepers. That's all for now and hope you enjoyed going through the images.


A parting shot !

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th April 2017 at 15:48.
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Old 4th April 2017, 17:46   #5
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Default Re: Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th April 2017, 18:03   #6
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Default Re: Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad

Excellent photographs. Can't decide which ones I like and which ones I like more
Wish there was a thanks button for each photo!
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 4th April 2017, 19:57   #7
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Default Re: Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad

Yes, the photographs are indeed beautiful. The last one of the bee eater is magnificent. What gear were you using, if i may ask? and which PP software?
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Old 4th April 2017, 20:22   #8
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Default Re: Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad

Great photos. Kindly share the location and season where these photos were taken in Palakkad. Me too from Palakkad. Would like to explore these locations. Also the lens and camera used.
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Old 4th April 2017, 21:46   #9
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Default Re: Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthian View Post
Yes, the photographs are indeed beautiful. The last one of the bee eater is magnificent. What gear were you using, if i may ask? and which PP software?
Quote:
Originally Posted by i20ian View Post
Great photos. Kindly share the location and season where these photos were taken in Palakkad. Me too from Palakkad. Would like to explore these locations. Also the lens and camera used.
Thanks.
I used my Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 for birds and my Tamron 15-30 f/2.8 for the first two images. All shot handheld.

Regarding the locations, as posted already, nothing special. Mostly road-side bird watching. I am from Keralassery and all have been shot some 10-20 km vicinity around my home.
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Old 5th April 2017, 10:17   #10
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Default Re: Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad

Excellent photographs... And I'm going to set these as my desktop wallpaper...
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Old 5th April 2017, 10:27   #11
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Default Re: Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad

Your write up is awesome and your photographs are out of the world. Keep bringing us more of it. Will watch this thread for your regular updates.
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Old 5th April 2017, 10:32   #12
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Excellent photographs amazed to see that you were able to get variety of birds in Palakkad. I hail from Palakkad.
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Old 5th April 2017, 11:33   #13
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Amazing pictures M35! Great timing for those Bird in flight shots. Leafbird shot is my favorite. Whats the ISO setting for the evening shots?
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Old 5th April 2017, 12:07   #14
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Default Re: Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad

Fantastic shots of the brahminy kites in action. It shows the plentiful patience and skill necessary to create such an image. I love palakkad during monsoons - unfortunately, given the deforestation, damage to paddy fields and fresh water sources, it has now become an oven for most part of the year. One can now sight warthogs, peacocks, hare, some say even fox and elephants in urban spaces / villages in search of water. Hope this year its a good monsoon year !
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Old 5th April 2017, 13:01   #15
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Default Re: Photologue: Bird watching at Palakkad

These are some excellent shots M35!! The green bee eater shot is just too perfect. The shot of the sparrow birds in gossip session is also too good. This is inspiring me to go out there and try a few myself.
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