“21st May, 2016, I can’t forget day as it is like a dream day for me. When we were lying on ground, that little bird gave us all kind of shots like left wing up and right down, both up and then down and what not.”
So the journey to capture this tiny bird in the most beautiful way possible starte like this:
At around 6:30 in the morning, Vishal picked me up for Sultanpur flats, Haryana. “I have heard that Pratincoles are also there. I don’t want to miss them at all”, I said to Vishal and he responded in the same way. At around 7:30 a.m. we picked our guide Mr. Sube Singh. (Let me tell you something about him. He is a 74 years old man who has very deep knowledge about whole area, birds, their habitat and everything related to the field). At around 8 a.m. we were there in the fields. As soon as we saw this bird, we started clicking from inside the car. I wanted to go out and take pictures but our guide stopped me and said that it’ll make this bird to fly away. We noticed that they are hundreds in numbers so we do have chances to get some decent shots.
After taking few shots from inside the car, we parked our car and came out searching these birds. To our good luck, as soon as we came out, we saw one of them coming toward us. We took some flying shot but as soon as the bird landed, Vishal sat down to take some ground level shots. I didn’t sit; I lied down because I wanted something else. I wanted to take shots of a different level altogether.
Arms were getting hurt because of stones; some blood too came out because we were crawling towards that bird on a hard ground. Since it was the month of May and time was around 8:30-9:00 a.m. we were already sweating like anything but for us, everything is worth if I am getting good shots. Moments later, Vishal joined me and lied down. Even the bird was in full mood to help us in getting some decent shot as when were on ground, he started displaying his beauty. Now this is something completely unforgettable for us. WOW!!! What a beauty it is!!! Am I dreaming? I was saying all this in my mind while capturing the shots. Bird came running towards me, bent down on ground, kept his one wing up and other down, lied down on ground and gave me that perfect eye level shot. I was not noticing anything apart from bird and making the perfect frames. My aim was to get sky along with a blur foreground and a fully focused bird in the same bird. To my good luck, I got that shot. After displaying for good 20-25 minutes and giving us unforgettable memories along with some decent shots, that bird flew away.
While getting up, I realized that I was lying on a burnt ground and all my clothes became a bit ashy in color. Vishal too got hurt because of the same reason but he was happy. Actually we both were happy, had some different kind of satisfaction, smile on our face. “Blood and all doesn’t matter bro. Just look at the shots we have got. This is my toughest birding experience till now”, Vishal told me and I was agree with him. “You guys are lucky, believe me! These are not so common birds and don’t give this much time to anyone. It’s your lucky day else I have seen many people taking shots while sitting in the car and going back” Mr Singh told us.
After checking out shots, capturing some more species and celebrating that “Dream Day” with tea, we left for the day. It was truly an amazing experience as I always wanted to capture this bird in the best way.
Note: Bird mentioned in this blog is Oriental Pratincole.
Scientific name – Glareola Maldivarum.
Author :: Hitesh Chawla