I entered the sunflower field and stood there, confused. So many hanging parrots feeding on the seeds, I wondered where to start from. I slowly edged forward and took a comfortable position to photograph the birds.
In no time, I was lost behind the camera, watching the parrots gorge away on the seeds.
Carefully, I moved further into the field and tried a closer approach.
A loud sound reverberated across the hills surrounding the field. I lifted my head off the camera and waited. Another one followed. This time my phone went off too! My wife was on the line and excitedly asked me ‘Did you hear it?’ Yes, I replied. ‘There’s a tiger somewhere!’
I scanned the hills looking for anything in orange and black. Except for the loud roars, there was nothing in sight. Grudgingly, I moved ahead with the job in hand. Parrots were waiting to be photographed.
While the target was Hanging Parrots, occasionally Plum-headed and Rose-ringed parakeets would make an appearance too. But they would remain camera shy. Any sort of movement and they would take to the sky.
I took my time and made as many images as I could. The sheer experience of knowing there was a tiger close-by and its numerous roars, added to the thrill. Until next time!
All images made with Nikon D850 along with a 600 F4 VR lens and on occasions with a 1.4 TC II teleconverter attached to the lens.
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,
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.
View all posts by Sameer Jain (Kittu)