Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Attempt at Bird Photography

I have never done a huge amount of bird photography and truly admire the work of photographers who spend the time to get crisp action images.

Make no mistake, I like my birding and my list is growing but I believe it takes a great deal of patience, skill and good luck to get mind blowing bird images. It is also quite difficult when on drive to spend time to photograph the bird world as you are on the vehicle and it can be difficult to get yourself in the perfect position and to move the vehicle is not the quietest episode.

My dream would be to get a prime lens, something like a 600mm f.4 and do some bird photography with that. This is a challenge I will play with and hopefully get some 'decent' birding images.

Here are a few of the birding images that I was able to capture from the vehicle during the last three days.

European Roller (Coracias garrulus). These guys have just returned to Madikwe after their winter vacation. They are one of the more dull Rollers but still beautiful bird.

Coqui Francolin (Peliperdix coqui). One of the very shy Francolin species. They are terrestrial and it's the first time I have ever even come close to getting an image of one of them. The male has the copper head while the female has lines on the eyebrow and a white neck.

Cape Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis nitens). A very common bird in pretty much any game reserve in Southern Africa. The colours on these guys can vary from pitch black to dark green and metallic blue - all depending on the way the sunlight catches them. Not often appreciated, but stunning looking bird.

Red Crested Korhaan (Eupodotis ruficrista). Also known as a 'Suicide Bird' due to it's breeding disply where it flies up into the air and then tumbles to the ground as though he has been shot. Apparently the Korhaan girls quite like that kind of thing! This guy can be seen in full cry just before he flies up to do his 'act of bravery'.

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta). The direct translation of 'Hamerkop' is Hammer-head and you can see why. They feed in the shallows of watering holes and catch prey such as frogs and fish. The lighting on this guys was pretty bad so I took the shot with the intention of creating a silhouette in Photoshop. The above image is the final result. Still hoping to get one of these in that early morning light!

Just a few for now but I will keep working at it and hopefully some more birding images soon.

As always I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time.



Andrea said...

I have seen this bird only one time,in Botswana.
I think it's rare and more rare to take a good image like this.
A very nice job.

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Cracking shots Gerry, bird photography is challenging but well worth getting into when you get decent shots, keep em comin.