One of the advantages of working in the forests is that the residences are in sprawling tree laden campuses, often at the edge of the forests. Birding happens right around the residence. I have been fortunate that ever since I started bird photography, there have been numerous opportunities to shoot birds from my residences. Be it Gadag, where I could spot all the seasonal flycatchers including a Brown-breasted Flycatcher; or Sirsi, with all the Western Ghats species including the Blue-bearded Bee-eater; birds were in my garden. I landed in Karwar with a new job profile where I was in charge of rural development in the district. Though by all standards it was a fine residence – the famous Tagore beach was right across the road – I was disappointed. The building was right in the middle of Karwar town, a far cry from my previous residences near forests, with hardly any opportunities for bird photography.


 The monsoon had just begun, and the Ashoka trees (Polyalthia longifolia) in the compound swayed and looked distraught because of the irregular shape they had taken. I got the Polyalthias trimmed to keep things in order. One fine morning, I heard the familiar screech of the Goldenback. I thought it was a woodpecker flying past, but the persistent calls from within my compound pushed me to unlock my camera from the de-humidifying cabinet. I looked around and saw this lovely woodpecker looking curiously at the Polyalthia when his mate joined him. The interaction between the two Goldenbacks was interesting, to say the least. To get a composition going when you have two attractive birds in one frame is tough, but I managed to make this image, and it is almost full frame.