Chasing water birds amidst quacks
Dr K A Ramachandran is a bird watcher and an avian lover. He spends time watching and capturing water birds amidst the shallow waters and here at India International Centre is a treasure trove of photographs that could delight environment lovers.
Dabbling duck, also called dipping or surface feeding belong to any of about 38 species of Anas and about five species in other genera. They feed mainly on water plants, which they obtain by tipping up in shallows. They often forage near the shore for seeds and insects. The bill is flat and broad, the hind toe unlobed. Dabbling ducks float high in the water and are swift fliers leaping upward on noisy wings before attaining level flight.
Found in lakes, marshes and even rivers the Northern Pintail is another charming creature. It is a large, elegant dabbling duck with long, slender neck, long grey bill, and pointed tail which is held cocked when swimming. The breeding males have chocolate brown head with white stripe down sides of neck joining white fore neck and breast. Non-breeding males resemble females and are mottled brown and buff with a pointed tail.
Ramachandran is a patient bird watcher. He photographs his subjects as they navigate their natural habitats, and it is clear that he positions himself so that he does not disturb their movements and their predicament. The majestic presence of the birds gives us pin perfect shots that are charming and charismatic. Ramachandran uses a shallow depth of field vision to give us feathery features that eye catchingly elegant. These succinct images are an index of India's wetland health. Shooting birds with a camera is a telling example of conservation of wildlife and dabbling ducks are a species that are gentle and beautiful.