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Day #16: It Came As A Surprise!

Day #16: It Came As A Surprise!

Best Nature and Bird Photos. Indian Darter or Snakebird or Oriental Darter or Anhinga in flight in Bharatpur Brid Sanctuary or Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan, India. Best bird sanctuary in India. Nature, Wildlife, Bird, and Landscape Photography by Prathap.

The Photo

Indian darter or Snakebird in flight in Keoladeo National Park or Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India.

Story Behind the Photo

After spending several hours photographing Indian peafowls and Sarus Cranes it was my usual routine to take a break for a cup of tea and breakfast. After the breakfast I would go and sit with my Taiwanese friend who was after the famous Indian darter fight at Manosarovar in Keoladeo National Park.

We would sit for hours to get the photos of these snakebirds to fight. Honestly, I don’t like to see the fights where someone gets hurt. The snakebirds fight was more like a dance or some kind of an argument which would end up without anyone getting hurt. Let us keep the fighting story for some other day.

As I was waiting for the darters fight I was also keen on taking their flight shots. For some reason, birds in flight are my favorite of all types of photographs. I would always be alert for any such action that might happen.

So was the case that day. I had set my tripod and the camera almost at knee level to get a low level shot of Indian darters fight. This darter took off from a distant perch and I knew it would be inviting for a fight. I started tracking the bird as I always do. But it came as a surprise when the darter flew towards me!

What an unbelievable experience to see this huge bird flying towards me. I made several photographs until it actually landed just in front of me. I love this particular photograph because of the unusual wings position which makes one feel like the Indian darter is about to attack!

Technical Information

Body:  Nikon D750

Lens:  AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR

Focal Length:  600mm

Aperture (f-stop):  f/4

Shutter Speed:  1/1600 sec

ISO Sensitivity:  ISO-320

Exposure Compensation: 0 step

Metering Mode:  Pattern

Shooting Mode:  Aperture Priority

Extra Info

Want to know more about Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary? Read my photo story about Keoladeo National Park or Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.

Quick Tip

Many a times, you would be overwhelmed to start clicking as soon as you see a bird flying. Auto focus system needs some time to lock onto the bird.

Track the bird before you start shooting. When you see a bird flying, first thing you should do is give some time for the autofocus to lock on to the bird. Once autofocus is locked, you would be able to get the sharp photographs in burst mode.

Facts from Wiki

The Oriental darter or Indian darter (Anhinga melanogaster) is a water bird of tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia. It has a long and slender neck with a straight, pointed bill and, like the cormorant, it hunts for fish while its body submerged is in water. It spears a fish underwater, bringing it above the surface, tossing and juggling it before swallowing the fish head first. The body remains submerged as it swims, and the slender neck alone is visible above the water, which accounts for the colloquial name of snakebird.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Photo Story. Have a Great Weekend Ahead!

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Prathap is a professional nature photographer and founder of Nature Photography Simplified blog. He aims to simplify every photography concept to help beginners and amateur photographers.

Download his highly recommended FREE eBook "Bird Photography – 10 Mistakes and Solutions" which has been instrumental in helping thousands of bird photographers.

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