After spending many months in Europe, I needed to change scenery and have a chance to see some new wildlife – something exotic, something colourful. I took the plane to Thailand, where, with neither preparation nor expectation, I stumbled upon a birdwatcher's paradise. This was a total surprise, especially given that it was the low season for birdwatching. What an unexpected delight it turned out to be!
For my stay, I chose a charming Airbnb nestled on the slopes overlooking brownish-yellow fields. It should have been lush green, as it was supposed to be the rainy season. However, it turned out to be a dry rainy season, so I did not have high hopes when I arranged to visit a bird hide.
This particular bird hide turned out to be unlike any I had ever encountered. The dry, yellow dust surrounding it, had made the pond and the food in front of the hide irresistible to birds, reptiles, and mammals. From the moment I arrived until dusk, the place was alive, buzzing with motion, filling the air with a cacophony of calls, shrieks, and chirps. From tiny insectivores to majestic pheasants, from flying squirrels to miniature musk deer, flock after flock, group after group arrived. As one group departed another swiftly took its place.
The interplay of light and shadow, with patches of darkness juxtaposed against harsh brightness, made the photography conditions tricky. Yet, this did not bother me. For five hours, I abandoned everything I knew about photography. My only obsession was to capture every visiting species. So many of them were entirely new to me.
In moments like these, we photographers tend to forget that photography is not only about creating art but also about preserving memories and sharing them with others. This time, I did not forget. I knew there would be ample opportunities to delve into artistry another time. This time, it was about absorbing it all, not letting any moment slip away.