It was twilight and getting dusky by the second when I came across this pair of love birds hovering high above while on an evening stroll along a beach. If not for their passionate mewing screams breaking the tranquil evening now and again, they probably would have gone unnoticed by me. The pair of love birds were performing an aerial acrobatics courtship ritual with an elaborate repertoire of ‘flying in unison’, intricate swoops, dives, mock attacks and chasing. It was wonderful to watch, beauty in motion, unplanned, I least expected it, and am glad that mother nature occasionally throws this lovely ‘spectacles’ at me, very glad indeed :).
Romance is in the air, the love birds circling past their nest … (discernable in silhouette at the upper mid-point toward the right edge of the frame) .
At the height of passion, they momentarily made contact with a sharp mewing scream – the female turned to face her mate, presented her talons to his, and contact! I missed the crucial ‘engaged moment’ as i was not expecting it and did not anticipate for it.
Flying in unison, an affectionate moment …
The love birds is a pair of Brahminy Kite, a bird of prey commonly found along the coast where there are broad mudflats such as those found in mangroves, estuaries and coasts and in inland wetlands. A scavenger rather than a hunter by nature, they feed on dead fish, food scraps and hunt for small prey (fish, crabs, shellfish, frogs, etc.). With a habit and reputation for hovering in the sky in a stationary position for an extended period of time, they are easily spotted and identified from their distinctive look especially in flight, which resembles a hawk with a small built head, long narrow wings and a forked tail.
All photos were were shot with a XF 35mm lens, aperture almost wide open, to get sufficient shutter speed to freeze the love birds in flight while keeping ISO noise to a lowish level. It worked rather well, i think, as it captured the space and utter freedom of the love birds in flight among the lovely twilight cloud formation that evening.
All photos: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 35mm