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Evening Exodus
Photographer: Santosh Saligram
Location: Lakhota Lake, Jamnagar, India
In Jamnagar, a coastal town renowned for its thriving oil industries, the historic Lakhota Lake with the statue of Jam Saheb turns into an epicentre of migrant bird activity in the winter. One species steals the show with a spectacular aerial display, as tens of thousands of Rosy Starlings (Sturnus roseus) take to the air en masse, swarming together and swirling through the air like some gargantuan sky-wave. The experience is so overwhelming that it's hard to isolate a meaningful moment from the barrage of sensory juggernauts. Working excitedly to capture this story in a picture, I was using a wide-angle lens to take it all in but it was when I put on the telephoto zoom that I could suddenly see the frame - a cloud of birds individually only the size of the soldier's fist, but collectively overwhelming, advancing towards the statue standing seeminly in defiance. In a coincidence, it summarised the contemporary situation of wildlife everywhere - its beauty and spectacle threatened by man's destructive aggression, and making a telling juxtaposition of nature's joy and man's love for war.
Digital Alterations: 
Cropped for composition, white-balance, levels, contrast and saturation adjusted, slight noise-reduction applied and dust-spots removed
Camera Information: Nikon D600 digital SLR camera; NIKKOR Zoom 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S VR II lens
Special Equipment: