Can you spot the Nightjar? After a few seconds, I’m sure that you can see the wonderfully camouflaged Savannah Nightjar in the photo. I took this image in the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve on one of my visits to India.
And no. I didn’t spot him myself, not while driving at 20kph and holding onto my equipment. My eyes were too busy being bounced around on the dusty forest roads. The credit for the spot goes to, Joyti, my guide for the trip. We’d decided that the driver and forest guide would look out for tigers and the bigger mammals while Joyti and I covered birds and other smaller stuff.
I cannot emphasise enough the value and benefit of having a local guide on your photographic trip to a foreign country. Their eyes are usually adapted to spotting in the terrain that they guide in every day of the week. They no longer look for species but see the form, shadow and shape of all the species in the area. It’s called having “Bush Eyes”, and even though I am good at spotting wildlife, I wouldn’t have seen this opportunity. And so the photo would never have been taken, and you wouldn’t see the wonderful camouflage of this bird.
If you can get the services of a local guide on your travels, take it, you will not regret it. It is not all about wildlife but a chance to chat with the locals and learn about a foreign culture. You are travelling, after all.
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