Bird Images 2015 - Nigil Haroon Photography
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Large-Tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus)

At 600mm F4 and ISO 2000, this photograph was taken at 1/5 secs with just a monopod. I was expecting some vibration but luckily no. Shows how good the new Canon 600mm F4 II lenses are in image stabilization.

Extremely cryptic bird. Around 30 cmm long.The brown and gray plumage with spots and streaks, as you can see in the picture, perfectly blends with the fallen leaves. Most of the times you walk past without seeing the bird and you get to know only when it takes off. The flight is haphazard showing its agility. Feeds on insects by capturing them in flight.

I was exploring a forest area in the outskirts of Lucknow, a city in the Northern part of India. My buddy birder and local guide, a professor of rheumatology +Able Lawrence suddenly became still. "Did you see it" he asked. I had seen nor heard anything. There was a nightjar apparently where we were that flew away. We missed it.

We continued our exploration and we came to a heavily wooded area. Hardly any light and it was around sunset. Lo and behold a Nightjar flew right in front of us. And in the next 5 minutes there were three more flying around. There is no way we would have seen these without the movement. I settled close to the last one that landed ahead. Inched as slowly as possible to the area. I spent a good 15 minutes just settling down in the area and the Nightjar became relaxed and almost dozed off as it realize I am not there to harm it. I had great difficulty focussing as there was no light at all.