When less is more 

A meeting at a photo exhibition led to plans of going in search of the common kestrel. We (Vinay, Mahesh and I) reached Hessarghatta early in the morning looking for the kestrel. A chance sighting on a kestrel happened and from a safe distance we started shooting. Vinay was very kind to offer his telephoto lens and camera equipment to shoot the raptor as I had brought only a zoom lens along.

Lesser Kestrel | Hessarghatta, Oct 2012

Few frames later and inspection of pictures, Mahesh excitedly announced, it’s not a common kestrel but a rarer passing migrant called Lesser Kestrel. A wonderful hour or two we spent with the kestrel making images to our heart’s content. Later that evening, we saw the kestrel sitting on a stone. Crawling our way towards the kestrel slowly, we made a few ground level images too.

Going in search of the common kestrel and to be treated to an encounter with the lesser kestrel remains as one of the highs of my birding and photography experiences. Hence in the truest sense, Less is More! .

Note: The nails on the talon of the lesser kestrel is pale yellow and not black like the common kestrel. The easiest way to differentiate between the two species.

Shot with: Canon 500 f4 IS + 1D Mark 3 

Published by

Sameer Jain (Kittu)

Way before I started photography, I heard the song Lose Yourself by Eminem, and the starting line has stuck with me ever since. It goes- “If you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted would you capture it or just let it slip?” This line is a constant reminder and the closest description of what I feel when I’m out on a safari or walking/trekking photographing birds. Fondly known as Kittu, I’ve been a resident of Mudumalai for three decades. I manage and run Forest Hills Farm and Guesthouse; a family run resort near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. For as long as my memory goes, I have been an ardent lover of wildlife. Growing up on tea estates and Forest Hills, has played an active role in nurturing my love for nature and wildlife. During school holidays at Forest Hills, I made full use of safari and trekking opportunities that came my way. In 2005, I decided to pursue photography with a Canon film SLR and in 2007, I went digital. The love of wildlife has taken me to various national parks both in India (Bandhavgarh, Ranthambore, Tadoba, Kaziranga to name a few) and other esteemed forest reserves such as Masai Mara (Kenya). While I keenly keep a track of birding activity at home (Forest Hills Farm and Guesthouse), one might just bump into me during a safari at my favourite forest reserve i.e. the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

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