May 2014

In some of our earlier issues, we discussed the eye-level shot in great detail for the benefit of our readers and due to their positive feedback; we decided to talk about it a bit more but from a different angle. Though our focus for this month shall deal with the same technique, it shall involve ground birds which happens to be a subject that is rarely covered but is bound to be of interest to our esteemed readers.

It is common knowledge that there are a multitude of bird species found all over the world, many of which remain active on the ground. These birds are more comfortable on the ground instead of being perched on the trees.

Some of the most common examples of bird species that fall under this category include coursers, lapwings, francolins, quells, some types of waders found on the seashore, among others.

Many nature enthusiasts reveal how these birds do not mind if some vehicle approaches them, but they tend to fly away the moment they notice the presence of humans.

The image presented above is a result of an experience I shall not forget anytime soon.

I spotted this yellow wattled lapwing and decided to approach it slowly by jeep to get as close to it as possible. My main intention was to understand the extent to which the bird was comfortable with the jeep and how close would it allow us to get to it. It was surprising to note that it allowed us to get really close. I then requested my driver to move the jeep back, maintaining enough distance from the bird. I proceeded to get out of the jeep slowly and instructed the driver to get as close to the bird as possible while approaching the lapwing in a circular fashion. With the jeep as my cover, I started walking towards the bird.

After some moments, when I noticed that the jeep was close enough to the bird, I signalled the driver to bring the jeep to a halt while keeping the engine running. I prostrated myself on the ground, next to the tyres and only then, I was able to spot the bird at eye-level and it seemed to be in close range.

In the end, my efforts were rewarded with this great shot. Even though this method can be physically exerting and tough, it is able to produce amazing results.