I often jog at paddy field close to my parents' house for the air is fresh and the scenery is spectacular. It's a totally different experience jogging in the midst of green ocean of paddy. The land is so flat that it is only bordered by the sky. You could watch the live documentary of clouds forming and the drama it plays together with the wind. Sometime, rainbow add to the climax; Or rapid approaching thunder storm come as surprise.
Often catches my eyes was the Kingfisher that darted away when shocked by my sudden and rather silent approaching.
White Throated Kingfisher is the most common bird, amongst others , in this paddy field. It is a magnificent bird with metallic blue/green coat on its back and equipped with an effective preying tool, the big red beak. It could dives with head first (or rather beak first) into deep water to catch fish, or swoops down, with feet first at the shallow water. Apart from fishes in the wet seasons, lizards, frogs, insects, etc. make up the bulk of its diet.
Bask in the warmth of morning sunlight.
Lack of gadgets as profesional wild life or particularly, bird photographers equipped with. I have to plan my strategies, and hoping for some lucks, i made my ambitious attempts with my point-and-shoot digital camera. I well aware that i have to get close to them, real close, in order to capture their images.
A cold morning after heavy downpour the previous night was just the right moment that i have been waiting for. The birds are cold and hungry. They need to replenish their energy after consumed it for warmth to get over the cool night. They will conserve and focus their energy for hunting, no unnecessary flight will be made at this time as the air is cold and heavy. Another trick that i have learned is that never approach them on foot. To them, anything with moving legs are dangerous.
Still wet after a few fruitful dives, this bird is anticipating for more.
The White Throated Kingfisher is a sit-and-wait predator spending long period perch above potential spot for preys. They are said to be territorial. I believe so as i have not seen 2 or more birds hunting together.
I moved to and fro along the small paddy road with my motorbike, stopped at every wooden bridge across the canal. Each bridge offered a kingfisher. I managed to get as close as around 10 ft to them. The noise from the engine didn't bother them as long as i don't get down from my bike to show my legs. They will still fly away after lost their patience with my persistent presence, and returned to their position soon after i left for another bridge.
I was surprised by their sudden disappearance after i made a few to and fro rounds. I was in total puzzle as i just saw them a minute ago, and now not even one could be found on all bridges. I stopped to look around. To my great shock, the sky was quickily covered by thick black clouds, moving fast toward my direction, and i could even see the rain they carried along.
....The birds read it first. This is their land, they know it best.....