Home > General, Kolkata (Calcutta) Nature, Photography, Wildlife Photography > Lockdown Memories, Wildlife Photography from my rooftop

Lockdown Memories, Wildlife Photography from my rooftop

Lockdown Memories

Wildlife Photography from my rooftop

Covid 19 has changed the way we lived, with the lockdown being implemented from 16 March 2020, there was nothing much to do. Stuck at home I started editing the Wikipedia.

Bird 1

Chestnut Tailed Starling or Grey Headed Myana

Although I have been attached with the Wikipedia Movement for almost a decade but my activity was more off line. The Covid 19 Lockdown first provided me to edit wikipedia on a regular basis.

Bird 2

Red Vented Bulbul

The Telegraph, Salt lake provided a small coverage of my lockdown Wikipedia activities in the article titled “Lockdown diaries: How residents are spending time indoors.”

Bird 3g

Oriental Magpie Robin

But as the lockdown kept on increasing I decided to try something new and interesting. I used to spent the evening on my Salt lake residence terrace. During my evening walks I spotted several birds apart from the usual crow, sparrow and myna (শালিক).

Bird 3j

Oriental Magpie Robin

There were pigeons and doves but there were more exotic birds like the Oriental Magpie Robin, Purple Sun Bird, Black Hooded Oriole and a few others.

My initial days was just restricted to observation only. With a little internet search I was able to identify and spot a few birds within a week.

Next step was to photograph them but with no knowledge of birds and inappropriate equipment it was not an easy task, but I wanted to give it a try.

Only previous experience of bird photography was along the Silk Route in Sikkim (Also see: Birding Tour along along Sikkim’s Silk Tour) an imitative of Wandervogel Adventures.

Bird 3l

Oriental Magpie Robin

So next day I was up in residence terrace in AA Block, Salt Lake, Kolkata armed with my Nikon D7000 DSLR Camera along with a Sigma 70 – 300 mm lens. Although the equipment was not suitable for wild life photography, but with nothing much to do I gave it a try.

Bird 5n

Purple Sun Bird (Female)

The first few days went on simply spotting the birds with almost no effective result. A little internet search provided recording of bird’s call this gave me an extra edge in spotting the birds but still it was not easy. With time my senses and reflexes developed making it easier to spot the coloured winged guest.

Bird 5q

Purple Sun Bird (Female)

Spotting was only only half the job and photographing them proved even more difficult and my third party lens took lot of time to focus. The other problem was definitely the background and the environment. Wires, poles, ropes and parked cars in the background created a problem for the colourfull winged visitors.

Bird 5m

Purple Sun Bird (Female)

But after few test shots I decided to shoot them with the urban background making them the “Lord of the Concrete Jungle.” Soon I got the hang of it and second several hours in morning and evening shooting the winged guests.

Bird 6a

Black Hooded Oriole

My catch was as follows:

  1. Chestnut Tailed Starling or Grey Headed Myna (কাঠ শালিক) (Sturnia malabarica)
  2. Red Vented Bulbul (বাংলা বুলবুল) (Pycnonotus cafer)
  3. Oriental Magpie Robin (দোয়েল পাখি) (Copsychus saularis)
  4. Purple Sunbird (দুর্গা টুনটুনি) (Cinnyris asiaticus)
  5. Black Hooded Oriole (কালোমাথা বেনেবউ) (Oriolus xanthornus)

Happy with my prized catch I decided to turn my attention beyond the winged visitors and I shifted my attention to squirrels. A short internet search reveled there are dozens of squirrel.

Squirel 2

Indian Palm Squirrel

The internet reveled that the one I spotted from my Salt Lake residence is called Indian Palm Squirrel or Three Striped Palm Squirrel (Funambulus palmarum) and has three distinct black strips in his back.

Squirel 1

Indian Palm Squirrel

During my lockdown rooftop bird photography session I was often distracted by the calls and movements of the squirrels and I decided to make them my photography subject, thus combining mammals and bird in my wildlife photo collection.

Squirel 4

Indian Palm Squirrel

Being larger than the birds the squirrel proved to be an easier subject but their swift movement and urban background was no doubt a challenge. So again I followed the concept of the “Lord of the Concrete Jungle.”

Squirel 5

Indian Palm Squirrel

My observation soon revealed that this mammal has got adopted to the urban landscape and learnt to live with it. So I started shooting the squirrels in an urban environment including wires, light shades and balconies.

The lockdown wildlife photography was definitely a learning experience and I definitely want to continue with it but before that I want things to become normal. Lets all hope for a Covid 19 free world with no more lockdowns.

 

  1. June 17, 2020 at 4:13 AM

    Wonderful article supported by some beautiful pictures.Most of the birds seems to be slowly leaving the urban habitat,specially in the big cities.Even most of the the birds are not visible in the protected bird sanctuaries now.The lockdown seems to have some sort of balancing effect on the nature.The wildlife is slowly reclaiming back its habitat. Kolkata has been a wonderful city in this regard.Even if the city is developing very fast,most of the natural places,parks etc are still intact.I still fear about the other places like wetlands which have come into the prying eyes of the builders.The lockdown should be an eyeopener to us to see what we have been doing to the nature till now.

  2. June 17, 2020 at 12:01 PM

    I use an app called “Merlin Bird ID” to identify birds. Do give it a try for the more exotic ones.

    Also, good to see your flora survived the cyclone.

  3. T
    June 17, 2020 at 1:21 PM

    This is not wildlife, this is urban life. 😉

  4. July 3, 2020 at 1:32 PM

    Wonderful pictures, I wish I could do the same, with whatever wildlife and nature I get to see around me.

  5. July 5, 2020 at 12:52 PM

    wonderful photography

  6. July 14, 2020 at 3:24 PM

    These pictures are amazing and it’s beautifully written ❤️
    I have a wildlife blog do check it out and show some love…

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