Bird photography requires a lot of patience. . . And I've learnt that the hard way.
The agenda was Khadakvasla Lake, then Panshet Lake and then back home because my parents hadn't allowed me to venture into the Sinhagad valley forests on my own. I left at a characteristic 4:30 am in my Dad's Honda City and reached Khadakvasla lake by 7 am thanks to a few wrong turns on the way!
Down to business, at Khadakvasla Lake. First thing that I realised - this would be a different sort of experience. It was waterbirds and they were going to be completely new to me as I was quite used to Forest and Shrub Birds. Egrets, Ducks and Waterfowl was the general plan in mind. Always ready to tackle a new challenge . . .
First I spotted a few lazy Jungle Mynas idling by the lake. A cattle egret flew away as soon as it spotted me - unfortunately that happened before I could spot it. But I was determined and trudged into the marshes to the other side of the lake. I soon realized I was too common a location as random couples strolled onto the lakeside. So I went back to my car and drove to the other side of the lake.
So - I wasn't at the romantic end of the lake. Nor was I at the NDA end of the lake. Birds never wander where humans hang out. So I made my way to the back end of the lake, slightly off the road to Panshet Lake. And the sight was amazing!
This rear end of the lake was teeming with life. A Plains Prinia chirped merrily on a thorny twig and an Ashy-Wren Warbler sang gleefully into the winds. A whole bunch of Spot-Billed Duck were quacking away into the morning sunshine and a Red-Wattled Lapwing grazed happily next to the Ducks. A cattle Egret was trudging in the shallower areas of the lake not too far away from an Intermediate Egret. I looked on stunned and my camera was clicking automatically. This was what paradise had to be!
Ashy Wren-Warbler, Oriental Magpie Robin, Plains Prinia, Jungle Babbler, Red-vented Bulbul, Red-Wattled Lapwing, Common Coot, Spot-Billed Duck, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Pond Heron, Intermediate Egret, Spot-Billed Duck, Little Grebe, Little Cormorant, House Sparrow, Greater Coucal, White-spotted Fantail, Purple Sunbird, Purple-Rumped Sunbird, Pied Kingfisher, White-Breasted Kingfisher, Common Myna, Jungle Myna, Brahminy Myna, House Crow, Black Kite. . .