The weaving wonder

This little bird is a true wonder of nature. The nests it builds stand as a testament to its engineering prowess. I’ve heard it say that some of the nests survive more than two monsoons. Two Indian monsoons. And I tell you, it does not get anymore wet or windy than that!

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I’ve seen plenty of nests and I’ve seen plenty of weavers. But never a Weaver building its nest. I guess the birding gods don’t consider me worthy of watching such a wonder.

And here are the ladies. Lounging in the sun, waiting to be impressed by a new male and his new nest!

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Spidey!

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Just got my camera back from the service centre and found this little guy making a home for himself  in my bathroom. He automatically qualified as an involuntary test subject. I hope he decides to move on by tomorrow morning.

Bruises for an Egret

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I was vacationing on the western cost of India with my family. We were enjoying the sunset on the beach when I saw this lonely western reef egret running around in circles with the hope of catching itself some fish. I didn’t have my 500 mm lens with me – all I was equipped with was the 18 – 55 mm kit lens. Sadly, this meant that I had to get real close to the bird to get a decent shot. This was bad, especially because I had never seen a western reef egret before and I HAD to get a picture.

So I went commando style. I got down on my knees and elbows and slowly crawled up to the bird. I didn’t realise how hard this would be. A couple of minutes into it, I had scrapped  my skin raw and couldn’t take it any more. Sand hurts! But anyway, after ten agonising minutes, I got the pic I wanted. It was totally worth the effort!

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The grumpy Leaf Hopper

I’ve been photographing more insects than birds recently. So much so that I’ve contemplated changing the name of my blog from birds to insects. But I realise its nonsense.

I’ve (re) invented a new technique to photograph insects. The technique involves a closable, transparent cup (which is also used to carefully release the insect into it’s natural habitat after the “photo session”), a shoe box and with some white paper, a home made light diffuser and some sugar crystals. It worked like a charm every single time I employed it to trap and photograph unsuspecting insects that had the misfortune of crawling into my apartment. But the last one I tried this on, misbehaved. Take a look at this picture.

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In my mind, it cannot get better than this for the insect. I was waiting for it to start digging into one of those crystals so that I can start clicking away. But instead, it hops onto the sugar crystal and starts looking around as if to see if there something more interesting around!

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This didn’t make sense. So I looked it up. Turns out it’s a leaf hopper! Which basically means they follow a strict diet plan that involves sucking the sap from leaves and trees and does not involve sugar crystals.

Here is another pic without the sugar. I thought he might like it.

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