Sandwell Valley Country Park is resident to a number of both water birds as well as woodland birds and small mammals. This park which is located in West Bromwich, England has a lot of birding activity and has a lot of open space from walking trails, open meadows, water bodies and areas of woodland. Here are some of my favourite captures over the past 8 years. I had used a number of different camera setups from starting with the Canon EOS 600D in 2014 to now using the Canon EOS R6.
Since I purchased the Canon EOS R6, I had taken a few nature photos at Sandwell Park which just a walking distance from my home in West Bromwich. The main intention was to try out how accurate the animal eye auto-focus was and I was quite happy with the way the camera would focus on the eye of the animal or bird even when moving. Here are some samples of what I had captured over the past couple of days.
Few days back on a Sunday morning, me and a few others had decided to visit Chilla zone of Rajaji National Park. We left around 11:30 from Dehradun and arrived just within the hour. Gates did not open until 2:30pm so we had plenty of time. On this trip, we only opted to do the afternoon jeep safari. We did all the bookings on arrival. Jeep costs are Rs.2000 plus Rs.250 for vehicle road fee and an additional entrance fee of Rs.150 per person depending on the number of people there are for the safari.
Assan Barrage is a small dam located around 40km from Dehradun. The dam is 287.5m long and has water all year round as it is fed water from the Asan river. This dam is responsible for creating of the Asan reservoir or also know as Dhalipur lake. This lake is a good location to view a number of water birds and migratory birds that arrive here in the winter months. The best time to visit between October and December as this attracts a lot of migratory birds to the lake.
Here I was able to capture the preening activity of jungle babblers, taken right from my apartment in Dehradun. Birds preen mainly to remove dust, parasites and also to straighthen their feathers to help in flight. These birds are quite commonly seen in private gardens and woodlands.
Grey hornbills are commonly seen in Dehradun but Oriental pied hornbills are very rarely seen within the main city of Dehradun. It was great seeing Oriental pied hornbills without having to travel far and this was the only occassion I had seen one and also was able to photograph it using my Canon gear.
This is a series of images where one morning I had observed a raven feasting on probably the carcass of a pigeon. The raven with its kill landed on the branch of the tree and as soon as I observed this sight, I then rushed to get my camera and took this series of shots before it flew off. A raven can be distinguished from a crow in a number of ways as ravens are much larger and the beaks are bigger and curvier compared to the beak of a crow which are slimmer and straighter.
From my apartment balcony, here are some photos which I had taken of different birds but on the same perch of a mango tree. It is like the are all posing for photos and I was there ready with my camera. I had used the Canon 7D and Canon 70-300mm F/4-5.6 L lens to capture these images.
Last month from my balcony, I had observed this brown headed barbet making its nest or home by creating a hollow within the tree. Birds mainly build nests for hatching of eggs and rasing the young but sometimes after making a nest, they simply abondon it. I find this surprising because I had observed the amount of hard work that is involved when creating a nest inside the tree. They are constantly at work everyday. Nests could be abandoned for two reasons. One is that the presence of a predator such a cat or it could have been a dummy nest.
Lodhi Gardens is also a great place for nature and bird photography. One can spot a number of birds such as woodpeckers, hoopoes, owls, baya weavers and much more however I was only able to photograph a small number of birds and common wildlife such as squirrels. The equipment I used was the Canon 7D and Canon 70-300mm L f/4-5.6 telephoto lens. Here is a small showcase of images I shot that day.