Preparing For Prey

After years of observing and photographing wildlife, I have learned that there’s an untold story everywhere around. It takes time, the right moment and the understanding of interpretation, to know the story and then comes the ability to narrate it out. It takes a lot of patience to see the wildlife in its own colors, and I give my best to capture those natural colors and bring it on table. I happened to visit a nearby marshland last winter, where I came across a water snake. This grown up fella was somewhere 25-30 feet away from me, and here’s his story of what he did in next one hour.

I have photographed different species of snakes over many different occasions, in wild. In most of those events, what I found common is, the time taken to photograph them in a way I wanted. Snakes in actual, do fear humans more than humans fear them. This is the reason, that being a Wildlife photographer, I have more responsibility to not let the animal fall in stress or make it aggressive just in order to make a great shot. Said that, considering all of it, its very tough to gather a sequence to tell a story about the animal. Fortunately, this time I made it.



Pic1: This water snake was resting dead on a floating heap of hay sticks which was not far away from the bank of the Sultanpur lake. No movement at all. Staying there for some time made me see the snake moving. It moved slowly towards water and then made a U-turn. In actual it made itself lean more towards the other side of the heap which would allow his invisibility on other side.



Pic2: Water snakes are usually non-venomous, and they rely on small preys as small frogs, garden lizards, small birds etc. The snake was big (5ft approx.) and could prey easily over small ducks/ hens etc. which were swimming in the lake.



Pic3: Birds often swim for long and then find such points where they can get themselves dried, and again jump in the water. This phenomenon can easily attract any nearby bird toward this hay stick heap, which seem to be empty from other side of the water.



Pic4: There was some movement on back side, and the snake didn’t wanted to miss the opportunity and sniffed around for any potential prey.



Pic5: Least did it knew that the bird just landed from no where, and even before resting her wings, flew away after seeing the snake.



Pic6: Though the snake missed the prey, but did not lost hope, and went back to his position.


This was indeed a wonderful experience for me, and I hope I could successfully delivered the story. I wish if I could have invested more time, possibly I could have discovered something more interesting. However, I didn’t had enough energy by then to fight the croaching sun over my head, so had to prioritize myself over the interesting wildlife drama. Such instances be always like a sweet needle in heart..



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Kalyan Choudhury
Here, I come forward to be another set of eye for you to explore, India. I go from crowd to corners, urban to wild, and from easy accessible to extreme, to get something different, something exciting, extreme wild, that's what makes me a wildlife photographer, perhaps a story teller.
Kalyan Choudhury

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