Photographing Raptors at Ramdharaneshwar using a Mirror Lens

Ramdharaneshwar is some 100 kilometers south of Mumbai.

Drive through New-Bombay or Navi-Mumbai and past Pen via. Panvel towards Alibag 18.64°N 72.88°E.

Take a right at the junction some 8 kilometers before Alibag into Thal.

The temple atop Ramdharaneshwar is popular.

Stop and ask for directions to the foothills of Ramdharaneshwar.

You can choose between one of two hills. One with an uneven stone staircase leading you up to the temple – there is a lake atop and more shade. And the other – a more difficult trek to the top of a hill with little or no shade and water.

We opted for shade and water.

And at the end of a tiring afternoon I didn’t have a single decent photograph to show. Despite being on top of the hill and equipped with a 500mm lens the birds were just too far up.

The Expert suggested that the other hill does provide better photographic opportunities.


We spotted assortments of Falcons, Kites and Eagles.

“Are you happy with the results of the Mirror Lens?” asked the expert Ornithologist.

“I don’t know. It is the first time that I am using it!”

He then showed me his Canon 400mm f/5.6 lens.

“I was told that this is the best lens for photographing birds in flight. I like to photograph birds in flight” he said.

“Well, I wish I had something like that today!”

Technical Notes

  • This was my first attempt to photograph birds using a Mirror Lens. And it wasn’t a good one. I found it difficult to point to a bird in flight and follow it. I didn’t get the hang of the focusing ring.

I was discouraged.
“Once you get the hang of the Mirror Lens – especially the focusing, you might be able to get some good shots” said the Ornithologist.
“Well, I sure hope so!”



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