With immense patience, akin to a monk, this Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) stood still, waiting for an unaware fish to surface. Egrets and herons have always amazed me; they pose as statues, waiting for the right opportunity and striking distance before moving at the speed of lightning to pick up their prey from water. 

While on a visit to Dandeli in December 2014, we stayed at a riverside resort. Earlier in the evening, while taking a stroll on the banks of the river Kali, we watched a White-bellied Sea Eagle and some Brahminy Kites being harassed by crows. Once the light faded and sun set behind us, I started photographing egrets hopping around on rocks to find the last fish of the day. But, without a tripod, I was not able to compose the image the way I visualized it. The next day, I reached the spot well equipped – with a tripod and remote release – and set up my equipment only to find just one egret. This was it! I was able to photograph the egret standing still in the roaring Kali, and the 2.5-second exposure helped freeze the rapids and add a silky calmness to them.

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This image won Samyak a Special Mention in the ‘Animal in its Habitat’ category, at the recently concluded Nature in Focus (2016) festival.