Off late I have got back my interest of shooting birds and animals. I had left my 55-200mm lens for some time after getting the Sigma 150mm macro lens and had been mostly shooting insects, butterflies and other interesting macro subjects since then. After selling of my 55-200mm I got a new Nikon 70-300mm VR lens and now I am back to shooting birds.
After I got my new toy it was time to test it and what could be a better place to test the 300mm other then Hebbal lake. I had a trip at the lake before to shoot macros and this time it was time for birds.
24th Oct, 2010
I left for the lake early in the morning and reached it at around 6.20 AM. There was a bit of early morning's orange glow. A pelican was lazing around in the lake and it poised a nice opportunity to take a silhouette of the pelican against the lake. Here are couple of shots
Just after the early morning's golden glow had disappeared the water started to reflect strong light of sun. While this egret was busy looking for easy pickings I took this shot against the bright sparkling water. One of my friend suggested that its not worth as the scene was too bright, but I wanted to capture a silhouette of the egret against the sparkling water and it came out pretty well.
Later on when the light was much better I practiced few in the flight shots. Not many of them came out well and just couple of them made it to my hard disk, rest all are in thrash.
Egret in flight
Purple Heron in flight
There was a trio of Spotbill ducks lazing around in the lake. I spotted them near the bank of the lake and moved in quickly to take some close shots. Unfortunately I had not checked my exposure settings and all the shots were over exposed and the ducks also made a move after seeing me. The closeup shots were ruined but I still got one decent shot, though not from very close distance.
Indian Spotbill ducks
I spent some time in the garden area to capture sunbirds but all in vain, so I move back to the lake. I saw a Cormorant looking for fish. In fact it had caught one but before I could get a shot the fish somehow went off from its beak. I spent some time looking at it with a hope of more action, but it never came. In between I took couple of uneventful shots.
By this time the clouds had taken over the sky and the light was boring. I decided to leave the park and try to get some shots by getting into the parking area. I got couple of shots there, one of an egret and of a Red Wattled Lapwing.
Egret with fishermen in background
Red Wattled Lapwing
With this I called it end of the day. I was by no means satisfied with what I had got and more trips to Hebbal were defiantly on cards. The same day I decided to visit this place in the evening. Though this time I did not shoot birds. The light was great and I choose to shoot sunbursts which I will cover in another post.
30th Oct, 2010
Weekend is back and so is the time to make another trip to hebbal to have a date with the birds there. This time the morning was pretty dull and I was cursing the cloud cover that had made the light very dull and uninteresting for any kind of photography. In fact the light was real bad to take some usable photos at a relative faster shutter speed. I tanked up the ISO settings to 800 to get a decent shutter speed but I knew that my Nikon D40 does not produce quality images with that settings.
I spent good amount of time waiting for some action from the birds but nothing much happened. The only action that happened was at my end where I dropped my lens cap in the water when I was fiddling with the camera settings and I was unable to recover it.
I did manage to capture couple of Pond Herons in flight but I would like to to better then this.
Pond Heron in flight
Pond Heron about to land
There was nothing much I got my hands on till the time when I decided to leave. I left the lake area and moved to the area near the parking. I saw 2 pelicans lazing around but nothing interesting to capture. In no time both of them made a move and took off together and that was my moment. I managed to get couple of in focus shots of both of them together in flight. Here's one.
Pelican duo making a quick move
BTW the 70-300mm lens worked pretty well. I still would like to get more closer with the optic but that would mean to invest in a longer lens which I have no plans as of now.