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The_Norwegian

My favourite bird, the eurasian sparrowhawk. The af-system in your camera hasn`t had to work before you set out to photograph these rockets. Taken in the steep hills of Dalen in Telemark, Norway. D4s with a tammy 150-600 at the time.

15136768907_4344406f37_h.jpg_DSC1045 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr

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Another one. Two golden eagles arguing over eating-rights. Beautiful birds, cold an snowy, perfect eagle-conditions! Also taken in the steep hills of Dalen in Telemark, Norway. D4s+tammy 150-600.  

Northern Carmine Bee-eaters taking advantage of savanna fire. Mago national park, Ethiopia, Feb 2015  

Yesterday I went to visit one of my favorite spectacles in the animal world. Each morning during late July and early August, dozens to hundreds of Swallow-tailed Kites assemble over hayfields near th

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Big Andy

A couple from the Gambia taken a few years ago in the mangrove swamps opposite Tendaba camp when on our way upriver for a birding safari. These are great egret.

 

Camera Canon 50d with Sigma 120-300mm lens.

 

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Big Andy

@@The_Norwegian That is a great image showing wonderful feather detail. It looks to be so intent on what it's doing, I wouldn't want to be a small bird in the firing line.

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Rein Kuresoo

Northern Carmine Bee-eaters taking advantage of savanna fire. Mago national park, Ethiopia, Feb 2015

 

gallery_50213_1554_264320.jpg

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Bush dog

@@Rein Kuresoo

 

Excellent picture! It really looks like a painting (Turner's style), I like it.

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The_Norwegian

Another one. Two golden eagles arguing over eating-rights. Beautiful birds, cold an snowy, perfect eagle-conditions! Also taken in the steep hills of Dalen in Telemark, Norway. D4s+tammy 150-600.

 

15873239643_32da8ac406_h.jpg_ASW5674 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr

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ZaminOz

WOW!!

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Game Warden

@@The_Norwegian Fantastic capture. How did you set that shot up? From a hide?

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Game Warden

@@Rein Kuresoo That's a different take on birds in flight. The heat haze background is amazing.

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The_Norwegian

One kind of in flight and one soon in flight ;-)

 

14963842164_b50017ae44_b.jpgwestgård

Edited by The_Norwegian
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Soukous

Bateleur

 

It is always a thrill to see these guys soaring overhead

 

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Soukous

White backed vultures swooping in

 

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KaingU Lodge

Skimmers are here. The river is starting to get more and more beautiful as the waters drop and the rocks are almost all exposed and the bird life jumps massively.

 

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Geoff

A few of the 2400 images (no indication of quality) I took last Sunday on the edge of the continental shelf, 30 miles off the Australian coast.

 

Campbells Albatross

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Black-browed Albatross

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Shy Albatross

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Great-winged Petrel

post-5120-0-89157500-1466763412_thumb.jpg

 

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lmSA84

@@Geoff - these are beautiful - congratultions

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TonyQ

@@Geoff

Lovely photos - it must be tricky with the boat moving so much.

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Geoff

@@TonyQ Yep, a small rocking boat (in this case on a 3 metre swell) with 16 people aboard adds another dimension to the challenge.

With the sun low in the northern sky (southern hemisphere winter solstice) opposed to a south-easterly wind it was always going to be "a hard day in the office" anyway.

 

As it was my first pelagic trip I expected to stuff up numerous images and decided to experiment with the camera settings and techniques to find out what worked for me. It was a very enjoyable 9 hours, especially so as I was not seasick.

 

Black-browed Albatross

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Shy Albatross

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Prion Species (probably Fairy Prion but hard to tell)

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Prion Species (again probably a Fairy Prion)

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Edited by Geoff
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KaingU Lodge

The good old Hadada Ibis.

 

13533130_1110421839015155_66299390853453

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Kitsafari

@@Geoff wow that shy albatrosses against that crest of a giant wave is superb!

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elefromoz

@@Geoff, beautiful photos, we don't see so many Seabirds on this forum. Pity you have to get on a boat to see them! I feel sea-sick just looking at them. You would have been rocking and rolling around out there.

 

Osprey decided it was time to leave, taking his half eaten fish with him, when a Magpie turned up.

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KaingU Lodge

Guests saw wild dogs by the lodge, by the time I got out there they were gone, but there was some serious vulture action on the scraps of their kill.

 

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KaingU Lodge

And another.

 

13607024_1116248048432534_83514013783402

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offshorebirder

Very nice pelagic photos @@Geoff - I am jealous of your offshore adventure!

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offshorebirder

Here is a White-backed Vulture flying in with nesting material. January 2016, Offbeat Mara camp, Mara North Conservancy, Kenya.

 

25161554052_aae97cb96d_b.jpg

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offshorebirder

Yesterday I went to visit one of my favorite spectacles in the animal world. Each morning during late July and early August, dozens to hundreds of Swallow-tailed Kites assemble over hayfields near the Savannah River just outside of Allendale, South Carolina. Large numbers of Mississippi Kites also assemble in similar fashion.

American Swallow-tailed Kites (Elanoides forficatus) are the most graceful birds I have ever seen. They are often observed feeding on the wing - on snakes, tree frogs, dragonflies, beetles, and even bats. African Swallow-tailed Kites (Chelictinia riocourii) are neat birds, but in my view they don't hold a candle to our North American version.

 

Here is a Swallow-tailed Kite doing a low-level flyby

 

28420470162_87e486370c_o.jpg

 

When I was growing up, Swallow-tailed Kites were a rare sight indeed - north of Florida, they were only reliable near the Santee Delta in South Carolina. Thankfully they have recovered since the banning of DDT and they are spreading and greatly increasing in number.

These Kites are coming to fed on abundant Junebugs - large scarab beetles they catch in flight and on the tops of grasses in the hayfields. Kites also feed on the abundant dragonflies in the area.

Certain locations near Allendale have great setups in terms of morning light and are also where the fields are narrower. This brings the kites close to observers and photographers lined up along the sides of the slow-paced country roads.

As usual, everyone yesterday was very well behaved and quiet, exhibiting the upmost ethical wildlife viewing. Cars from all over the eastern United States were present - the farthest traveler had license plates from Illinois.

I got some pretty good photos yesterday, but none of my shots of the Kites' uppersides came out well. Too bad, because their shiny blue-black uppersides are gorgeous to observe. It is very rare to get opportunities to photograph Swallow-tailed Kites from above; they rarely ever come near the ground. But at this Junebug feast, one gets regular chances. But the birds are moving at such high speed, and changing direction so quickly and unpredictably, it is very hard on a camera's autofocus. I look forward to trying again this weekend.

* If any Safaritalkers in the eastern United States would like to come photograph the Kite spectacle, I would be happy to take you there and show you around. The offer stands in coming years as well as the next couple of weeks. The site is a little over an hour's drive from Charleston.

I love how aerodynamic these birds are. Look at how their feather leggings are keel-shaped - like the keel of a boat or skeg of a waterski or surfboard. Almost like pectoral fins on a fish if they want them to be.

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The Kites' technique is to grab the Junebugs, crack them open in the air (like a small crab), and then eat the innards while dropping bits of the beetle's carapace and head.

28242684160_4ab0de44cf_o.jpg

 

 

Here is a pair that were feeding together. I did not see any juvenile Swallow-tailed Kites so I presume the parents are still feeding young on the nest. There were several juvenile Mississippi Kites flying around.

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In closing, I will inflict a couple of more feeding shots on y'all:

 

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Edited by offshorebirder
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