Food for thought… My style…

My new camera is giving me opportunities I never had before. Its ability to capture the shots I love to take, is hard to get my head around.

Some of these shots were considered not good bird shots and there I agree, but as unusual shots I think they are great…

This bird is known as a Glossy Starling… and I can see why it is so named…

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I love to know what the birds feed their young and this one has been very co-operative… I think this is one of the cicada family of insects… the old camera would never have captured this…

Here are a few shots that some are not impressed with…. I love them, almost a peek-a-boo as the bird decides if I’m dangerous and if it can come down to its nest…

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and then it comes down to the nest and has a good look at me to make sure it’s safe…

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To B&W or not to B&W…

A comment from a follower had me doing a few experiments… Lauramacky made a remark in reply to a comment I made on her post.. (CLICK HERE TO SEE THAT POST)now I’m not the biggest fan of B&W and said this on her post, but that the B&W that she is posting I find very good….

Her reply read as such —- “Wow thank you! I love colour as well (as you know) and I think you might surprise yourself with some of those bird images. I can totally see one of the flamingos with the reflections as B&W.” So I decided to convert a few flamingo photos to B&W… it worked in two ways… the flamingo are fine in B&W and it gave me an excuse to add a few more flamingo photos… here they are below with their original colour…

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Not much difference .. although the colour has just that little bit more…here’s another…

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Now this one works fine… BUT how would other bird photos work ?? ….

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Now that did not work well… but then the original didn’t work well either with too much black on black background… But what of a almost B&W bird against a blue sky…..

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Now this one has me in two minds… both work well…. so to Laura I say thank you for making me experiment… and Laura… now with the new knee, hope all is well soon that you can be up and about, and out with the camera once more…

To visit Laura’s site (CLICK HERE)>>>>

Damn, now that’s interesting… Greater Flamingos….

The greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus).

This is a bird I know little of, but have always been fascinated by videos on National Geographic’s. The masses of birds observed on pans in the north of Africa has been something I thought I’d never witness.

Well I still haven’t, but, 60 odd birds in one pan is good enough for me…

This I have now ID’ed as the Greater flamingo which is the most widespread of the species. There is also the P. minor which is found Africa and India; the P. chilensis found in S America; the P. jamesi found in Peru and Argentina; the P. andinus found in the high Andes of Peru and Argentina; and the P. ruber found on the Caribbean islands, Caribbean Mexico, Belize and Galapagos islands.

A big bird which lays a single egg, eats small shrimp, seeds, blue-green algae, microscopic organisms and molluscs.

Most of the plumage is pinkish-white, but the wing coverts are red and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. Sub-adult flamingos are whitish-grey and only attain the pink coloration several years into their adult life. The coloration comes from the carotenoid pigments in the organisms that live in their feeding grounds.

Although I cannot find a reference to it, the eyes of all species seems to be yellow…. why…???? They just don’t seem to fit with the rest of the bird… and now more photos to bore you….

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Every time these two got near each other they raised their feathers it’s called a piloerection… now what the hell is a piloerection ??

Piloerection is the raised hairs on the shoulders, along the back and (sometimes) the tail. This is most commonly seen on dogs or cats, but it has been observed in other animals such as birds, rats and many more. This hair-raising reaction is involuntary and a result of the nervous system. Adrenaline causes the muscles to contract, and the hair straightens away from the body as a result. (Hence my title “Damn, now that’s interesting”)

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If you could only see in the mirror what I see….

Why is what we see in a mirror, not how others see us ?? Should we even care ?? I love the reflections these birds make, but not always what I see in the mirror……

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I was returning from work today and spotted these on a lake in the middle of a housing area… sneaked on in and took some photos… will be posting more of these when time allows…

Hi to all… I’m back for a while…

It seems so long since I was able to get on-board here. Been busy at Wingate and Sishen Golf Club with their OH and Safety induction. What a wonderful experience to be back up early everyday preparing for work before sun up….

We had a weekend off last and my son took us to Witsand, a place we had as yet not been to, this is what they say about it on a website…

“Witsand Nature Reserve in the Northern Cape is an exceptional eco-destination featuring geological and climatic anomalies that cause the desert sand to ‘roar’. This natural attraction is one of the Green Kalahari’s best-kept secrets. The birding here is exceptional, and you’ll see plenty of dry land wildlife.”

You have to know we went there full of excitement and I made the cardinal sin a photographer can make… I went with low batteries, no backup charged ones and of course forgot the charger at home. My video camera had just enough for me to capture something Linda and I would not have believed if we did not experience it….

It happened whilst sitting at the camp fire latish in the evening, having eaten well and just enjoying the noises of the bush, also feeding the genet cat that came to visit. Three springbok came up to the fire to visit with us. Linda and I kept quiet at first and stared in disbelief. ANIMALS ARE SCARED OF FIRE my brain screamed.

One started to lick on the braai grid that was cool, then came and started to lick in the ash of the fire. “THE FIRE IS HOT” I screamed under my breathe…. these springbok actually started to seek out pieces of charcoal that were not still glowing red, but warm and ate them.

This all happened within two to three metres of us and when we started to talk to each other in disbelief they carried on totally ignoring us…. I captured this on video and when back in civilisation I will download it to “youtube” and add a link for you to see…. here are a few photos first from Witsand and then a few from yesterday which I had a chance to get out and capture…

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We leave tomorrow for Pretoria for a short while (a week) and then on the road again… but this will give me a chance to catch up a bit with you all… look forward to that… and to the odd blog I’m going to be able to post…

White-browed Sparrow-weaver…. Cape sparrow…

These are two very descriptive names for two sparrows with very similar nesting habits. They both are social when it comes to building their nests and a good thorny acacia tree can be decorated with up to 50 of their untidy grass nests.

Males are normally monogamous and stay around for the whole breeding and raising period..

Cape Sparrows have been known to also nest in the eaves of buildings etc. and then become very similar in habitat and behaviour to the house sparrow…

These are largely overlooked birds in their specie group as they all just seem so common, yet if one sits and watches as they go about their daily operations, they can be seen to be very interesting…. always busy and on the go, very industrious as well…

Photos firstly of the White-browed….

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and now the Cape Sparrow….

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On a Clear day….

“On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” is a musical with music by Burton Lane and a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner. Well here we had two days of sunshine and a tad clear… so I managed to get 4 photos…

On a clear day, rise and look around you
And you’ll see who just prove you are

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On a clear day, how it will astound you
That a glow of your being, outshines every star

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You’ll feel part of
Ev’ry mountain, sea, and shore
You can hear from far and near
A world you’ve never heard before

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And on a clear day, on that clear day
You can see forever, oh

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And on that clear day on that clear clear day
You can see forever and ever and ever and evermore

My health is improving in leaps and bounds, however the pills are keeping me prone most of the time, things will return to normal, I just know they will……….