Musings by the lake
A stroll on a whimsy around a pond led to a breathtaking photo opportunity of a lifetime involving a peregrine falcon and a common teal.
Allow me to take you to an instance of time when I was at the right place at the right time. The moments which are now so close to my heart and still gives me goose bumps when I remember it.
This happened last December early morning when I was taking a stroll around the Osman Sagar lake in Hyderabad, in search of interesting photo opportunities about wildlife. Having checked through the main areas I was quite disappointed to not find something I have not documented before. I had already photographed coots which were happily dressing their feathers, open billed storks standing in composed manner and observing every moment around their feet, river terns flying low on the lake and occasionally fluttering at one place on getting a hint of food.
Moving ahead I could see a small pond just besides this big lake. Most of the times I was in the vicinity earlier, I had ignored this pond, but this time based on my intuition I decided to go over there and observe its inhabitants. It was pleasantly surprising to see the number of species that depend on a pond. It is not just a pond, it is an ecosystem sustaining many forms of life.
Soon I found a good hiding place where I could sit and just observe and document the inhabitants. Among inhabitants there was group of coots and Indian spot-billed duck and they would often quarrel if one species gets into the territory of other. At other side of pond there was a couple of common teals in the mood for mating. There was a pond heron listening very cautiously to every movement near its feet. I was feeling very blessed to be there.
Suddenly every inhabitant of the pond flew away. Unsure of what happened I found a common teal fluttering its wings. I picked my camera and as I zoomed in I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a peregrine falcon grabbing the neck of the common teal with its talons. I never saw peregrine falcon in my life before and when I encountered it, it was in its true form – the consummate predator, the bird of prey. It was amazing to see how one more species or birds of prey depends on the ponds for their food and complete the ecosystem. I happily documented this experience but soon the falcon got aware of my presence and tried to take off with its kill. These are the moments when we should draw line and leave the place irrespective of how rare the behavior is or how great the photo opportunity is. As I left the place I thanked God for letting me witness this kill as this was something I never documented before. This was something I didn’t expect to document that day but got lucky, this was the time I was at the right place at the right time.