Wednesday, 25 September 2013

African Birds - Part 2

Carmine Bee Eater
Carmine Bee Eaters
We came across this group, five or six in all, flitting around at ground level.
This one was using elephant poo as a vantage point.
Carmine Bee Eater (in flight)
Little bee eater
Malachite kingfisher
Canon EF 300mm f2.8 + 2X Extender 1/1250s @ f9, ISO 640
Malachite kingfisher
A tiny little bird the size of a mouse. We got great shots of it from the boat. 
With the engine off, you can slowly glide into the reed beds without disturbing the wildlife
Canon EF 300mm f2.8 + 2X Extender 1/1250s @ f9, ISO 640
Pied kingfisher
These tiny birds are quite common along the banks of the Chobe river. If you see one, there'll probably be another nearby.
Canon EF 300mm 2.8 lens with 2X Extender, 1/1600s @ f10, ISO 500
Giant Kingfisher
This is the giant kingfisher. It's quite uncommon in the Chobe region so I was especially lucky to get this snap before it flew off.
EF 300mm f2.8 lens with 2X Extender (i.e. 600mm).  1/2000s @ f5.6, ISO 400.
African Fish Eagle
These magnificent raptors can be seen throughout Southern Africa - usually perched high up on a vantage point such as a dead tree. This guy was drinking from the Chobe river and illustrates how good it is to shoot from a small boat. We cruised to about three metres from the bird and beached the dingy. This gave us an eye-to-eye view of the eagle for 15 minutes or so - it was not fazed by our presence

Tawny Eagle This is a large raptor seen in the game parks of Zimbabwe and further afield. Notable for its all over light to dark brown plumage.

Grey Heron in flight
Like most moving subjects, capturing any bird in flight is a tough ask. The Canon EOS 5D MkIII has awesome AF capabilities, far superior to the MkII, so, once focused and locked onto a subject, providing you can hold the subject in the AF area and have AF Servo set, it  holds focus with a high degree of accuracy
Collared Pratincole
Pratincoles are unusual among waders in that they typically hunt their insect prey on the wing like swallows, although they can also feed on the ground.
Purple Heron
This large heron was spotted on the banks of the Chobe river one afternoon - although quite large, it is also shy so moved almost every time we can within shooting range. Most photo blogs say that for good bird shots, you need a 500mm lens at least. This was shot using a 600mm focal length. Canon EF 300mm f2.8 lens with +2X Extender, f9 @ 1/4000s, ISO 800
Lilac-breasted Roller
This bird is quite common throughout Southern Africa and makes a great shot because of its brilliant colour, especially when in flight (but that's very hard to capture!).
African Skimmer
This is a weird-looking bird that flies very fast along the surface of lakes and rivers literally trolling for fish. The lower part of its bill is kept underwater till it finds a fish which is then very quickly snapped up. Shooting these on the wing is very hard as the birds fly fast and low over the water.
Cape Glossy Starling
These are quite common in Zimbabwe and Botswana. Its iridescent plumage is very distinctive but it is also quite hard to get a good image of them as the light is often wrong and the bird merely looks like a European Starling with little or no colour

1 comment:

  1. DJKN would have loved these and been so proud. Carmine bee eater is just my favourite - good up in Caprivi and Chobe.