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PC's fifth attempt


Peter Connan

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Dave Williams

Some excellent additions there.

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Time to gt this ball rolling.   To be honest, I haven't really decided what form this thread is going to take. Again, I don't expect to be competing for top honours on the count alone, and t

8) Whiskered Tern   Witbaardsterretjie Chlidonias hybridus   1 January, Mankwe dam, Pilanesberg   The following two were taken late last year at Ma

103) Pearl-spotted Owlet   Witkoluil Glaucidium perlatum   One of my most favorite birds, purely for it's beautiful sound. They are actually quite active in

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Peter Connan

Thank you very much @TonyQ and @Dave Williams

 

89) Brown-throated Martin

 

Afrikaanse Oewerswael Riparia paludicola

 

Only the one shot, and not quite sharp either. These guys are really tough!

Because these guys typically fly very close to the water, most AF modes continuously switch to the water, especially if it is choppy like this.

If you have an AF mode that concentrates on picking the closest object, that might help. If you shoot Nikon, that mode is Group Area AF (although they don't all have it).

 

However, because they change direction a lot, it's still tough. One trick that does seem to help (although with a fairly low keeper rate) is to try and use single-point AF, set to co-inside with the water directly below the bird. If you have enough shutter speed and a bit of leeway left over, reducing the aperture will improve the keeper rate with this method.

 

BrownthroatODP.jpg.d2142b0378db4a20b6c5783de2b0255f.jpg

28 January, Marievale

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Peter Connan

90) Common Waxbill

 

Rooibeksuisie Estrilda astrild

 

I probably should have held this one back, as it isn't particularly sharp, but I love the pose.

 

WaxbilODP.jpg.5492e2a8dfa025610e0a33a363d67ec7.jpg

 

28 January, Marievale

 

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Peter Connan

91) African Marsh Harrier

 

Afrikaanse Vleivalk Circus ranivorus

 

I only ever seem to see these at great distances. @Tdgraves and her OH were just shaking their heads at me even trying...

 

MarshHarrierODP.jpg.6f1d470da7ead2bddf0c71cca1adc532.jpg

 

28 Janaury, Marievale

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Peter Connan

But the really interesting thing is that it was (or at least seemed to be) flying formation with this guy:

 

92) Black-chested Snake-eagle

 

Swartborsslangarend

Circaetus pectoralis

 

bcseODP.thumb.jpg.9d178aebe434c25e8e4f263c6203e795.jpg

28 Janauary, Marievale

Edited by Peter Connan
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PeterHG

You collection of birds in flight shots is getting to be quite impressive Peter. That Waxbill may not be 100% sharp, it’s an amazing shot all the same!

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Peter Connan

Thank you very much @PeterHG

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Peter Connan

93) African Jacana

 

Grootlangtoon Actophilornis africanus

 

Jacana1ODP-2.thumb.jpg.fe9da3baa0aef4d5ab008ebb039616bb.jpg

 

Jacana1ODP-3.thumb.jpg.d4f97a5cf19a98aba96615b33d388326.jpg

 

Jacana1ODP-4.thumb.jpg.eb5d744c49432f380b3348c0704aed8f.jpg

These very interesting birds should make any feminist's heart sing, as they do most things the other way around. The male does all the work here! Well, apart from making the eggs, cooking, cleaning the house, taking out the trash, vacuuming...

 

28 January, Marievale

Edited by Peter Connan
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Peter Connan

94) African Darter

 

Slanghalsvoel Anhinga rufa

 

DarterODP.thumb.jpg.b1569d321489a338e6c5b28911ab97e5.jpg

 

These birds are powerful and extremely succesful underwater hunters. They swim strongly under water for relatively long periods and the kink in their necks and needle-sharp bill gives them a powerful spearing ability. They often catch relatively large fish, and thus, like lions, can afford to spend long periods seemingly doing nothing. Unlike lions, they tend to perch on a stump or dead branch with wings spread out, drying off and warming up.

 

28 January, Marievale

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Peter Connan

95) African Spoonbill

 

Lepelaar Platalea alba

 

SpoonbillODP.jpg.6b5f541efa4c1097a84700d1866aa9d0.jpg

In the photo above, you will notice that the fourth primary feather from the wingtip on each wing is shorter than the others. Birds follow many varied approaches to moulting (the process of losing and replacing feathers), but typically each feather must be replaced once or twice a year. In this case, this bird will lose one feather from each wing at a time, keeping itself balanced and hardly affecting it's ability to fly.

 

The greatest contrast to this approach is probably that of female Hornbills. They will cement themselves into their nests (a hole in a tree) and moult completely while incubating their eggs. 

 

28 January, Marievale

Edited by Peter Connan
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lmSA84

@Peter Connan - excellent additions as always and some useful AF tips. I’m sure that I’m ready to put them into practice but it’s useful all the same. 

 

I hope you have an excellent trip 

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michael-ibk

Interesting about the Hornbills, I wonder how many of them are unable to get out afterwards and starve.:ph34r:

 

Have a great Botswana trip, Peter!

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Peter Connan

96) Southern Carmine Bee-eater

 

Rooiborsbyevreter Merops nubicoides

 

On Valantine's day weekend some friends invited us to the Timbavati. We cleared Hoedspruit while they were still faffing in the shops, so I drove to the bridge over the Klaserie river, just before the main entrance gate to the APNR.

 

It's the first time I can remember seeing a Carmine in the area, but I failed to get it in flight, and since it was mid-day, the light was pretty harsh...

Carmine2ODP.thumb.jpg.efae2fe25182d41079f8085e1b308771.jpg

 

Carmine3ODP.thumb.jpg.6891d92e81977061d1f3015414e1aec3.jpg

 

CarmineODP.thumb.jpg.3ad82f4ac85c706c5618fea5c961e21e.jpg

 

14 February, Klaserie river

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Peter Connan

97) European Roller

 

Europese Troupant Coracias garrulus

 

EuroRoller2ODP.thumb.jpg.c19a75ed2bbba6b7ed9e38e7744cd121.jpg

 

EuroRollerODP.thumb.jpg.5d92c6e6de47f0b248c9ce7336ab5962.jpg

 

Here is an example of how easily bird photography goes wrong, but also how good equipment can sometimes salvage your bacon. On the evening of the 16th, the area received some much-needed rain. The next morning we found a termite irruption. As it was still pretty dark due to heavy cloud, I had the shutter speed dialled down to 1/500th. The first thing we saw was a Tawny, which flew up into a tree as we approached. So, wind in +1.3 stops of exposure compensation to deal with the dark bird against the grey sky.

 

Next moment a roller flies up and flies a sweeping curve, but for once keeping failry low and flying back towards us. The result: a heavily over-exposed (I had to darken it by 2 stops), slightly soft and rather noisy (ISO was at 2500) image, yet one which I really rather like:

EuroRoller3ODP.jpg.e9516e397d9902e524d2074d570ca3ee.jpg

 

14-18February, Timbavati

Edited by Peter Connan
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Peter Connan

98) Lilac-breasted Roller

 

Gewone Troupant Coracias caudata

 

LBR6ODP.thumb.jpg.d96215cc603fabbd19261d878e942ae5.jpg

 

LBR3ODP.jpg.f39a93eecbbe14ef1213e69c97682dad.jpg

 

LBR1ODP.jpg.98ee535daf6cb099d1601b6e632e0d9d.jpg

 

14-18 February, Timbavati

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PeterHG

Great Roller shots. I do enjoy reading your observations and explanations, Peter!

Edited by PeterHG
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TonyQ

Lovely shots- in particular the third Lilac-breasted Roller. A superb photo.

I also enjoy the text that goes with the photos.

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Peter Connan

Thank you very much @PeterHG and @TonyQ, i appreciate the kind comments.

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Peter Connan

99) Spotted Flycatcher

 

Europese Flievanger Muscicapa striata

 

This guy was both common and active in the camp we were staying in.

 

Flycatcher1ODP.thumb.jpg.e41cbc08fc6cf0c4d2e31fae54dc2c16.jpg

 

FlycatcherODP.thumb.jpg.888cf6774008b044137f86123cd3c384.jpg

14-18 February, Timbavati

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Peter Connan

100) Red-billed Hornbill

 

Rooibekneushoringvoel Tockus erythrorhynchus

 

And these even more so.

 

Redhorn2ODP.thumb.jpg.971ff9f95d31f1e983c5ea41f9edf95c.jpg

 

Redhorn1ODP.jpg.3694ca64b0587df5c3eb97e1fe50a0dc.jpg

 

RedbillODP.thumb.jpg.cc77770fc5b3da0f1c521308c2eba855.jpg

14-18 February, Timbavati

 

And that is it untill our return from Bots, on the 100th day of the year!

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michael-ibk

Congratulations on bird nr. 100, Peter, really done in style!

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TonyQ

Well done on reaching 100 with more excellent shots.

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Kitsafari

Congrats on the 100th - an interesting perspective of an oft-seen bird (at least in SA). Its eyelashes are to die for!

 

your widowbird shots were amazing as are all your BIFs.

 

Wishing you an exciting and birdie-ful trip in Bots!

Edited by Kitsafari
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Zim Girl

Well done on 100 birds.  Have a great time in Botswana.

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