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Breathtaking bird

Picture this: 23rd July 2021 – Drive to Belgaum. 24th July 2021 – Return from Belgaum due to landslides in Maharashtra back to Bangalore. 1000 km for nothing.

23rd July 2022 – Drive to Belgaum. 24th July drive to Chiplun. Spend 10 hours clicking the most gorgeous bird I have shot so far. Return to Bangalore on 26th July. 2650 km (combined) for one bird. Yes, ONE BIRD.

Thanks to one man – Nishikant Tambe, also known as Nandu. As we reach his place, he is busy on his bike with a snake hook. Guess who got all excited with his recent stint with snakes?

About 30 km from Chiplun, Maharashtra, is a small hamlet named Shiravali. Nandu was going to a neighboring house to rescue a baby Indian Rock Python. This is just a regular day for him. He has converted over 40 acres of land into a forest that attracts a variety of birds, spiders, butterflies, insects, snakes, and other wildlife.

His sanctuary is famous for the colorful migrant from Sri Lanka – ODKF aka Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher. While he has set up multiple hides on his property, what I like about these is the fact that he hasn’t meddled with the birds. There is no bait. There are only perches set up for the bird to do a final landing before entering its nest to feed the young ones. Monsoon is their breeding season. And, if you can time it well, you get to shoot this gorgeous bird with a wide range of appetizers for its young.

We sat for over 10 hours shooting this beauty. Here are my 10,000 words.

We did manage to get other species and some close-ups of the Python. Adding them in the next post as I want this one to be of just ODKF!

Some clips to see it in action.

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