The Birding Game, A Shot Worth Waiting For
Mohsen Jafar has been passionate about bird-photography and his hobby is to follow the lives of birds in the Gulf, local and migrating flocks all year round. He loves to head out before dawn to different regions of Qatar to catch unique shots of birds, whether it is mating season, new chicks being born, or a particular migration pattern; all are beautiful and tell a special story.
At 6 a.m. I arrive at the pond, desert, lake, sea, mountain or park in question. I set up my camouflage tent and camera equipment and wait in the stillness for any movement. It is a patience game as I can be hiding for up to two hours or more in the same position, just to get the million dollar shot.
If I am at a lake, I find myself up to my knees in water this is where my wader fishing trousers come in handy! The little grebes can be timid at first, but once I become one with their abode, they swim close to my lens and take their morning bath.
To make sure the birds aren’t threatened by my presence, I use an app called i-bird UK to mimic their mating calls, friendly calls and/or general morning chirps to encourage some activity. At the end of the day, the wait is always worth it. It gives me great pleasure to capture the birds in their environment, knowing I didn’t disturb them, rather they allowed me to be a part of their world for just a few hours.
It would please me to see more of the Qatari youth showing interest in these beautiful birds that make up their local habitat and show appreciation for what exists in this region. Month-long governmental campaigns such as Marmi and Al-Galayel encourage Qatari youth to do just that,
I have been blessed to work as the official photographer for the Marmi Festival three years in a row now, but that is only once a year in January. All year round I continue to venture out alone and to other parts of the world, as my personal hobby, doing what I love.