I had earlier written about Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus). I had another opportunity to meet this bird. It was well camouflaged in the tall grass. I was shooting at a playground. Despite people around playing cricket near it, the bird was busy foraging along with its companion.
I was using Canon EOS 1D Mark IV fitted with Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM & Canon EF 1.4x III Extender. Last time when I photographed it I had used Canon EOS 7D fitted with Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM & Canon EF 1.4x II Extender. So this is also a good indicator of the performance these two bodies; 1D Mark IV being Professional camera body and 7D marketed as semi professional. The results are on expected lines. Canon 1D Mark IV far surpasses the 7D. Even though bulky and heavy the result 1D Mark IV gives out is astonishing. Its focusing ability is phenomenal. Mastering that ability takes quite a lot of learning curve. Even at higher ISO the noise profile is excellent as compared to 7D.
This time grass was greener as compared to earlier version. These birds are usually found in pairs. Paddyfield Pipit is smaller and dumpier, has shorter looking tail and has a weaker fluttering flight. The usually uttered characteristic tsip-tsip-tsip call. It is a wide spread species found in open habitats, especially short grassland and cultivation with open bare ground. It runs rapidly on the ground, and when flushed, does not fly far. It feeds principally on small insects but consumes larger beetles, tiny snails, worms etc. while walking on the ground, and may pursue insects like mosquitoes or termites in the air.
A month before this shoot I had spotted these birds nesting in the same grass where I was photographing today. As a ethical policy I don’t photograph nests and will not publish one. Nest was at the edge of a bush. It was woven out of grass and leaves and was cup shaped. There were 3 eggs with greenish ground color and small brown specks. Now the nest is not to be seen and I could not see the young ones too. Since it was about a month since I last saw the nest, I am not sure either they fell prey for the predators or grew up and flew away. That playground is full of people playing around. They also haphazardly set fire to the grass around that playground to clear the grass on that playground.