The Birdman of Masirah

Now and again, a story reaches out to you from nowhere, and recently, that’s certainly how one Darrel Pinto, a humble House Captain at the Masirah Island Resort, and I crossed paths.
Lena, our daughter Sasha and I met Pinto as he assisted us with the check-in process at the Masirah Island Resort, finding him very well-spoken, as were all of the staff, but also intensely aware in a way that identified him not only as articulate, but with a dignity and manner that appeared to reach out to us all at the same time, and feel that there was more to this young man than meets the eye. We were vindicated when we found later that he was an enthusiastic photographer, and as Lena shares the same interest, the two had much to discuss, and later, to share with me, and now, you.
Originally, growing up in Goa, India, but of mixed blood, Portuguese descent, Pinto was more interested in all kinds of nature, and frequently attended Nature Camps, which he credits with much of his knowledge today. “I spent a lot of that time catching sick and injure

d snakes, bringing them back to health, and releasing them into the wild,” he said in a confident, matter of fact way, “but I needed to work so I took a BA in Hospitality, and fortunately, fate brought me to this bounteous island.” He speaks passionately of his ornithological passtime, and the joy it brought him was evident as we pored over some of his favorite images.
   He enthusiastically recounted how he waited, sat curled up for hours, for one shot of a bird of prey, and how he dug two poles in the ground to encourage a pair of others to alight for a good image. He spoke of seasons for the different species, and when the different migratory birds are moving from Africa to Asia, and back again. His favorite birds are the different species of Raptors, the carnivorous hunters such as hawks, eagles, buzzards, falcons, vultures and owls, and how much does he enjoy his pastime? “Well, my big lens cost as much as a small car, but really, it’s my passion…….” he said with a smile, his thoughts certainly already on his next photographic challenge.
 
Darrel Pinto, a nature superman of sorts, by day a House Captain, and by night, a camo-clad cameraman, not at all what he seems at first glance. His pictures speak much more eloquently than his words, or mine,so please enjoy these. Which one is your favorite?