Day 549 since lockdown, sep 28th 2021
A day in Puri to get over the travel lag and we are ready for visit to Chilika lake, I have in past seen amazing images of birds in flight and action at Chilika lake and my desire to get a piece of action Photography is high by now, we decided to get to 2 different places at Chilika in 2 days, this is more of a scouting trip as birds migratory ones are known to arrive in December and be there till march
Chatting with a friend Mr. Sushanto Burman a car Rallyist and pursuer of the good life confirmed that Orissa tourism property at Rhumba has rooms with Chilika lake view and Mangalajodi is 70 km from the Orissa tourism guesthouse, so these would be out target over the next 2 days, a 2 day and 1 night trip we set out.
Starting at 0700 hours after a breakfast of eggs and Okra we were headed to Mangalajodi, we wanted to see the place and then stay the Night at Rambha, spend morning at Rhumba and then visit Mangalajodi at noon the next day, and return to Puri post sunset.
We did good time, toll on the way was Rs 90 and we were at Mangalajodi approx. 70 km from Puri by 0920 hours, We came across quiet a few fishing boats which had fishermen working on the water body and informed us that during birding season Dec to March they do carry bird watchers and Photographers. Bird Photography by boat rates are Rs 1200 for a 2 hour session on the boat, and ideally done at 0600 hours and 1600 hours, September not being a birding time, they were willing to give us a Rs 200 discount in case were interested, but we would have to come at 1500 hours, currently there was nothing there except a bird watch tower, it was hot as hell and we got roasted in 2 hours we spend there, we did manage to get a few shots of a blue bird with red head “ the Purple Moorhen”
I felt happy to have gotten a few pictures with my 80 * 200 lens and the 2x convertor ( the 2 x converter is my new purchase after doubting my decision for 2 years should I , do I need it / Should I buy it ? ,,,, not that I suffer from Equipment envy, just cant see why to get it if I cant use it commercially
Any way by 1100 we were exhausted from the heat and decided to head to Rambha, and what do you know the narrow road is blocked by a truck which had just started to unload its 1000 sacks of supplies, so there we were looking at the truck and knowing the truck would probably take an hour to unload, so we did what next was to be done, we drove on a narrow patch, and luckily we did not topple in the water body, some off-roading with the Nexon, came out with some scratch and a small ding on the body.
From here on we drove on to Rambha total distance covered from Puri approx. 148 km, the time was 1300 hours and we were famished, the day being around Full moon time when crabs are typically larger in size we did order those for lunch and post a very satisfying lunch we went to our room which had a view of the lake from our room, the room had a balcony and sadly no chairs, but we were prepared and had carried 2 folding chair so we were well set to sit at the balcony and sip on tea and watch the lake.
It was almost 1500 hours and getting an hours rest we were on the lakefront with our camera hoping to get our 1st amazing picture of lake Chilika at Rhumba
Rambha is at the furthest corner of Lake Chilika (which is 1100 sq. km) from Puri.
There are boating service from the lake but we were not too keen on boating it was about getting more pictures of bird and lakescape for us.
Not much action and we were back in the room by 1800 hours day has started to shorten and we called it a night early, next morning 0500 hours we planned to be up and about. And get on with our cameras.
Sure enough there was a huge cloud cover exactly where the sun rose the next morning but then every cloud has a silver lining we did get a few interesting images of the lake and fishing activity’s and a few birds, yes I managed to get my 1st action picture of fish caught by the bird on lake Chilika, while in flight.
As I was coming away happy to have caught a action image I turned and the impeding storm had the sky turn dramatic, as reflected in the lake, spend a few minutes there and then slowly came back to the hotel, and spend the remaining few hours relaxing and chit chatting,
TO MANGLAJHODI again
before we started out again by 1100 hours n we were at Mangalajodi again and this time we sat around for a few more hours, the sun was not beating down so hard, I got some more practice with my new lens combo about how to track and photograph birds, it can get quiet addictive,
finally ay 1600 hours with light softening up we started back and Google showed us a shortcut that we decided to take that road, travelling by car leaving highways and taking short cut is not very smart, but then sense of adventure, it was a single lane road and had us backing or going off road a few times if there was another vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, the road was narrow and full of character,
dint seem like cars crossed this path too often( we crossed 5 ) I think I got another ding on my car as we tried to negotiate a bend and finally by 1630 hours we were back at Puri.