Grey Heron, Manglajodi Wetlands, Odhisa, India by Soumya Ranjan Bhattacharyya

Picture Story

This February when I went to visit the Manglajodi Wetlands, in Odhisa. The mornings were cold and misty, but the day broke gloriously with clear sun bearing down on us as the day progressed into the afternoon. Due to the relentless sun and lack of rain this winter season, the water in the wetlands had receded quite a lot and vast stretches of green fields had sprung up. The herons and ibis who are in for more than fish meal, target these fields as nestled among the moist swamp in these fields are snakes, frogs and other critters. It was the end of the day and we were returning in our boat, when our guide, Bulu, got excited seeing something in his pair of binoculars and hastily turned the boat towards where we were stationed for so long. He and the boatman covered about a mile long stretch and pulled the boat over probably 6 inches to one feet of water with all there might excitedly pointing towards a grey heron which was struggling with a large snake, it had just caught. When we reached the closest to action, the sun was below horizon. I was taking a series of shots when the grey heron flew up with the snake to land a few yards apart. That was when I got the grey heron in flight with a snake catch.

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