Oman bird lover sets eyes on documenting wildlife

MUSCAT, Aug 7 – Whether it is a bird wading in water, gliding smoothly in the sky or just waiting to catch a fish, Labid bin Mohammed al Amri has a child-like fascination for the winged species. Whenever he gets some spare time, Labid sets off on his “shooting” expeditions in order to capture these beauties through the eye of his camera. Having started photography at a young age, he learned the basics on the Internet. “It was in 2017 that I did a professional course that honed my skills,” Labid told the Observer. Besides helping budding photographers to understand the basics of light, it also gave them tips on purchasing a “reasonable camera”.

Having been armed with the requisite skills, Labid has documented a majority of the bird species in the Sultanate. The country is home to more than 500 species of birds, attracting bird watchers — both professional and amateur — from around the world. According to Labid, photographing birds is a tough job. “One has to reach/ watch documentaries about birds’ lives, which helps photographers learn more about them.” Sometimes Labid camouflages himself so he can take close shots of some birds.

Each bird is unique in its own way. For instance, wildlife photographers should be familiar with the birds’ seasons. “I have gained most of the information on Oman’s bird because of my association with the Environment Society of Oman.” According to him, the best time to go “shooting” is winter (November-February), when their numbers are high at Al Qurum Park and Al Ansab lagoon in the Governorate of Muscat. Dhofar, says Labid, offers a great opportunity for capturing birds in September and October. On his next plans, he says he plans to “organise my own exhibition” that will throw light on Oman’s wildlife.