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Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mangaluru for ODKF! – February 2016

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher
When I was in Lakshadweep, I got a message from Satisha that a “Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher” – ODKF, was being sighted in Mangaluru. This was off special interest to me as I had so far not encountered this bird!

ODKF a very pretty little Kingfisher of about 14 cms in size is generally seen in India during its breeding season in monsoon around August. As I do not photograph birds at their nest, I was more or less confined to the fact that this bird will not make it to my “indiabirds” collection.

Now, a few keen birders in Mangaluru led by Arnold Goveas have been sighting three of these birds regularly in an area called “Manjalpadae”.  A golden opportunity for me to photograph this bird! The only problem - I was in Lakshadweep! Would the bird still be there, say a week later?

Well, on Monday the 15th February, Satisha and myself flew into Mangaluru. We took the 14.50 Jet Airways flight from Bengaluru and landed in Mangaluru about an hour later. Avinash picked us up from the airport and drove us straight to Manjalpadae, the bird was calmly sitting there and at 16.33, I took my first picture of this wonderful bird! Yes!

We decided to spend the next morning in the area and the wonderful bird caught a frog right in front of us!  It took quite some time to bash up the frog and swallow it whole! A couple of images indeed!

As if this was not enough, not very from where we saw the ODKF, I shot my first image of the “Blue-eared Kingfisher” that had somehow eluded me all these days!

Arnold Goveas (left) and Avinash Adappa
Derrel Pinto
I am overwhelmed by the kind gesture of these Mangaluru birders. They welcomed me, helped me reach the bird and were genuinely happy that I was able to photograph this bird! What can I say – my salute to all of you guys – thank you!

Satisha Sarakki, Avinash Adappa, Arnold Goveas, Derrel Pinto and Suresh Kamath – Thank you!

Shooting from a boat at Kundapura
More! After the morning with the Kingfishers, we decided to proceed to Kundapura. Suresh Kamath drove us over and Avinash was great company! Here we had two more sessions of superb birding from a boat. The “White-bellied Sea Eagle” was the star though I managed to make images of a few other birds including four terns!

White-bellied Sea Eagle grabs fish effortlessly at will!
Some images I managed to shoot during this visit -> click here

I enjoyed the trip thoroughly!  Short and Sweet! ODKF – Done, Just like that!

Vijay Cavale

February 2016