After hearing about the naturalist training from one of my friends, I was eagerly looking forward to attending one myself. And the opportunity presented itself earlier this month on July 17-19th which I grabbed with both hands.
So, come Friday July 17th, armed with my camera and some basic necessities, there I was in the Bannerghatta Jungle Resorts camp. BNP has several good bus connections to the city and I decided to use them and also in the process do my bit for the carbon footprint. The camp is a located in the herbivore campus which is nice and green especially after the recent bouts of showers. Several deer, antelopes and gaur roam around freely in the campus.
The level 1 training, conducted by Mr Kathikeyan, is a very useful start into the wonderful world of nature. It provides you with basic knowledge about eco-systems and gets you going into birding with a more organized and informed approach. Karthik’s energy, enthusiasm and knowledge is also very inspiring and interacting with him over couple of days was itself a training of sorts. Personally I was very enthused by some of his macro shots and tried my hand at it too. The little white spider was my first step into the macro world.
After some ice breaking introductions and a few class room sessions, we went for a field trip in the green and lovely herbivore campus. Rain and cloudy conditions did disrupt the proceedings a bit. But we did manage to get a few good sightings.
This beautiful pair of laughing doves sitting on the rock is one of my favorite images from the trip. Just the habitat around the birds made the scene worth clicking.
The Nilgai with its beautiful fur coat and a white “beard” entertained the group before disappearing into the thickets.
Next morning was a total washout – it kept raining continuously. So, we settled for the class room session, which was to happen in the later part of the day. After breakfast, the skies cleared and we decided to make a field trip in the middle of the day. We had good sightings of various birds but for me the Brown Capped Pygmy Woodpecker was the best sighting. The lighting was a bit disappointing but got a good enough shot…
Just down the road. the white-rumped munia was collecting material for the nest…
…and Karthik for his macro world.
Saturday evening turned out to be the best for birding. The swallows were playing around on a bush. I have always seen so many of them flying but it was an opportunity not to be missed to take a picture of one sitting from close distance
Next morning, the weather again played a bit of a spoil sport. With not many birds out & about, I tried my hands on some more close up macros. The Hover fly made a good cooperating subject (Thanks to Prashant and Vasanth for spotting it).
Rest of the day was spent in some more class room sessions and after a group snap and a quick lunch, we all headed back to our lives in the concrete jungle thinking about all the fun and learning we had over the last couple of days.
Contributed by Manish Singhal, who recently participated in the NTP . He is a keen follower of wildlife and bird photography, which he pursues as a hobby. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For some more photographs of the visit, pl visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/whataurl/sets/72157621637605823/