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05 September 2005 @ 07:04 pm
Of small birds and grasslands...  
Of all the the bird photos I've taken, these were the ones where I had to work the hardest probably. Bright-headed Cisticolas are found on high grasslands, are very small and during this season (breeding) - very vocal. So, you always hear this bird and very difficult to see them. All birds have remarkable eyesight and they fly away as soon as they see anything approaching them. It had rained the previous night and the grasslands were quite slippery and one bad step could mean rolling down for hundreds of feet. Luckily, it was not too steep so it is not as bad as it sounds, but still a tricky situation.

The stalking started with me moving in front armed with the camera and my friend Harsha behind me with the binocs to spot our target. After a couple of minutes of scanning, we spotted a vociferous male. I slowly started moving towards him, with my eyes not directly looking at the bird. I reached within 50 feet of it and then aimed, but it was just a small speck and would be totally useless, but still I did take a documentation shot. And then, the bird just flew away into the skies. I almost turned back, kinda dissapointed that I missed it, but Harsha asked me to sit and wait. I did that and after a few minutes, one came and landed within 20 feet of me. In that awkward position, I began clicking away frames and managed to get some decent shots.

In all the excitement, I was totally unaware of two mammoth leeches which had crawled up my legs and done quite a bit of damage. Though painless, the amount of blood that was oozing out made it look like a fairly big injury. Anyways, the toll taken by the leeches for using their land was worth it, since seeing these beautiful birds up close was such an exciting moment.

Female on a blade of grass. cropped image.

Male. cropped image.

Junior Woodchuckmalcolm_frink on September 5th, 2005 10:15 am (UTC)
Neat job!
(Deleted comment)
sandeepdeepsan on September 5th, 2005 11:10 am (UTC)
some salt and they drop like flies!
(Deleted comment)
sandeepdeepsan on September 6th, 2005 03:46 am (UTC)
a costly option! I used salt on my first trek, after that just been plucking them out!
sandeepdeepsan on September 5th, 2005 10:23 am (UTC)
that is some effort! I guess you need more zoom; ever tried attaching the camera to a monocular?
two mammoth leeches which had crawled up my legs and done quite a bit of damage
come on! that is only two
Yathinyathin on September 5th, 2005 10:29 am (UTC)
> I guess you need more zoom;

It would cost at least $5000 for that. So it's like five years away, if I manage to put aside $1K a year for that.

> ever tried attaching the camera to a monocular?

Nopes. But, from what I've seen, the quality is terrible. It looks good at low resolutions but at full size, it's disappointing.

> come on! that is only two

Actually, in all my treks through sholas I've had hundreds of leeches up my legs and every time I've pulled them out, and this was the first time they got the better of me. :)

And these were fat and huge, I was actually stunned to see their sizes!
Arvindharvindh_d on September 29th, 2005 07:20 pm (UTC)
Most leeches in the western ghats are the thin,scrawny types. You should see the one in some forests in Bengal and Orissa - bloody things arethe size of my thumb. Not to mention, they are much harder to pull off. Rock salt is the best bet.
bchandan on September 5th, 2005 12:13 pm (UTC)
Nice pics! I remember seeing these on top of Tadiyendamol They are difficult to shoot.
Yathinyathin on September 5th, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Deepakdeepix on September 5th, 2005 12:22 pm (UTC)
The first pic is poster material!
teemus on September 5th, 2005 12:49 pm (UTC)
Diana Paradisedianaparadise on September 5th, 2005 01:04 pm (UTC)
Ooh nice!
ZuZusuzan_s on September 5th, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC)
Beautiful pictures!! I'm not sure I would ever be a dedicated enough photojournalist to suffer through leeches....but that is why you are posting beautiful pics and I am going OOOOHHHHAAAAHHH!
shadowquill on September 5th, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
That first pic is absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing.
vibs on September 5th, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
nice one
Very nice photos. Thanks for sharing.
(¯`·._.·[ (SIL) ]·._.·´¯)cyberscorpion on September 6th, 2005 01:21 am (UTC)
Awesome pics man.. Need to learn a lot from you
shruthi_dipalishruthi_dipali on September 6th, 2005 02:18 am (UTC)
so pretty..
(Anonymous) on September 6th, 2005 07:27 am (UTC)
How did you get to Shigekhan?
So how did you guys get to Shigekhan? From Chickmagalur? I'm looking for the exact route.

Yathinyathin on September 6th, 2005 07:30 am (UTC)
Re: How did you get to Shigekhan?
Take the road to Muthodi... it's 4 km from Muthodi.
(Anonymous) on September 6th, 2005 12:19 pm (UTC)
What camera do you use?

-A Wanderer
Yathinyathin on September 7th, 2005 06:13 am (UTC)
Nikon D70
arucard2 on September 9th, 2005 10:00 am (UTC)
just discovered your LJ through d33pix. I have to thank him. one more photographer that can critic my photos/ I can learn from... :)