First prize for me – yes – trust me!

I think obsession is a “must have” for any one. If you’re not obsessed about it, find something or someone.

I wonder why I always start with a history – can’t help it –

One of the most colourful birds in the plains – is Small Minivet. Various oranges and yellows, the black and the rufous makes it a very very attractive bird. My first sighting of it was in Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary when a friend Rishi, who was guiding a few of us along pointed to a very far away distance and said, its a beautiful bird. October 2012 it was. It took me a while to locate it through the 250mm IS II – L glass 🙂 – He had a 50-500 bigma – which all of us dreamt of owing one day. And another guy had a 70-300 bigma. All talking about shooting RAW and getting the world back in PP. Never thought the bird will come closer, and it did.


So far away it was. All that you could see is the colour and the desire to see more of it remained an unfinished agenda then.

The second one that I clearly remember is when Sharad, my neighbour, mentioned to me about a lot of migratory birds in their field area where they work – Bhutala lake – January 2013. Off we went on a Sunday afternoon, packing sandwiches and tea to have by the lake side. My bigma had just arrived. After having had a go at some herons and kingfishers, we were walking to a different spot to get a closer look at some pelicans. “There, on top of your head”, he shouted. Before I could ask “What?”, I saw this just took off from so damn close to another branch and behind the leaves. I had forgotten the name of the bird, then. I could always ask the other Sharad when I’m home. But the best of the lot then is just this one.


At one other time that I saw this a few months back was from our own terrace. But, it was close to disappointing state of affair. None of them was clear, at the eye level. So much of “habitat” frame that I almost gave up the idea of making a decent image.

Like a lot of other birds, this one is very agile. Always on the move, never returning to a same spot, like a bee-eater or a robin. One important aspect is – is the first few shots that you get it turns out the best on that day. Since it just keeps going up once you spotted it – at least that’s what it did to me except the first time but it was far away anyways.

Two or three weeks ago, someone that I befriended on Facebook – Divesh – someone with a great knowledge of birds pinged to tell me that he’s in town and wanted to go birding with me. I called Sharad, my all time go-to-guy, for “help” – he agreed and there we go. So many minivets spotted in one given day. All posing the same challenge. All going up and up. Few shots we managed. Mostly with a lot of blue sky.

Small Minivet - Pericrocotus cinnamomeus

Yes! but this was a celebrated photo, many liked it. Appreciated even the sky! All beautiful colours. About three years plus a few months to see this closer coming closer to accomplishment.

I’m close to finishing it – thanks for your patience >grin<

Last week I fielded another one from the series and to my surprise, it fetched me the first prize. The competition was organised by the Forest Department – as part of the 60 Wildlife Week events. This is my first ever award of the physical kind. I’m so excited and happy about it. So, thought I’ll write a story about it.

Here we go… with the winner!

Small Minivet - the competition winner

Author: Ram

geek passionate about music and photos

4 thoughts on “First prize for me – yes – trust me!”

  1. I love the story as much as the bird, Ram. Your enthusiasm just shines through. Rewards / awards are always nice (so I’ve heard) but the real prize is the beauty of the bird, which you have captured.

    1. So well said Andrew! Thank you so much! When we were returning back that day, we were talking about how we could have done this better etc. That’s another angle that ensures that the quest is never over. Yes, more than the price, I loved the process – the journey – what they call it!

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