Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Emerald Dove - Sri Lanka

A Photograph of the Emerald Dove taken in Sinharaja, Sri Lanka
Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

Of all the pigeons found in Sri Lanka, the Emerald Dove is easily the most striking. It's brilliant green wings and red beak and feet make identification easy. It's a shy bird and as a result, although common,  is rarely seen. On my last trip to Sri Lanka I photographed this species in Sinharaja as well as in Wilpattu.

More photographs inside.

A Photograph of the Emerald Dove taken in Wilpattu, Sri Lanka
 Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) - Wilpattu, Sri Lanka

The sighting in Sinharaja was the best in terms of photography. We had just walked in through the gate and around the first corner of the main road when we saw a male Emerald Dove (males have a white patch on their shoulder) walking towards us. I was expecting it to stop briefly and then disappear into the undergrowth on the side of the road but fortunately this was not the case. The bird just walked straight at us and I was able to fire off a number of frames as it approached. It continued until it was well beyond where we were standing before it took flight.

A Photograph of the Emerald Dove taken in Sinharaja, Sri Lanka
Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

I was also surprised to see a number of them in Wilpattu. They were foraging along the edge of almost every road we drove on and took flight as the vehicle approached. They were probably on the road as they are not used to vehicles driving in the park (the park had been closed to visitors for years and opened up very recently). Most of them flew into the forest and disappeared into the undergrowth pretty quickly. One of them flew up and perched on a branch by the side of the road and allowed me to take the second shot on this post.

 Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

Both Wilpattu and Sinharaja are have a thick canopy and very little direct sunlight gets through. As a result, to get decent photographs of these birds I had to jack up the ISO. In Sinharaja I had to use an ISO of about 2000. All photographs on this post were taken with the Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens.




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