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Day_2 Bird

Male Pale Chanting-Goshawk (Melierax canorus)

Not too bad a day - although I had trouble focusing on the bird and the images are big crops – I think that the light was far too bright – full sun, over 40 degrees – just after mid day
Saw it at the side of the dirt track coming down the Swartzberg Pass not far from Price Albert
Perched on top of a Telegraph post which is it’s favoured hunting perch.
Seems to only exist in Southern Africa, in dry areas.
Sexes alike but female 30% bigger than male

Feeds on
Small vertebrates, especially lizards and rodents, but also birds up to the size of francolin or small bustard and even more exceptionally Spotted Eagle-owl (Bubo africanus) and a stunned Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), as well as small tortoises, insects (including dung-beetles, grasshoppers and termites) and carrion (especially roadkills).

I thought I saw the Mountain Wagtail that I was looking out for, longer tail and a cleaner coloured bird than the Cape Wagtail but I never got an image so I cannot be sure as I only saw it with my naked eye, (i.e. not thru Bins)






Great looking bird.
 

johnsigs

Rookie
Bluejays, i found out they like peanuts i put them out and in one hour i had three come down. I had my nx20 and used remote viewer from inside the house.
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Location
S W France
Real Name
Bill
Today, Day_3 was miserable and wet …… light drizzle all day.

The only thing I could do were images from “the garden” out of the terrace window – looking them up, it looks like they are very common, here are 4 of them

Cape Robin- Chat

Common Fiscal

Forked Tailed Drongo

Cape Weaver – nasty looking birds







 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Location
New Mexico
Real Name
Larry
Lets hear it for the Cape Weaver :thumbsup:, what have they ever done to you Bill.

Barrie

I know you asked Bill, not me. I'd say: though striking looking, they're the color of mustard. But I love all the shots, especially the one of the Cape Robin-Chat.

The Drongo looks raven-like. Are they a related species?
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Location
S W France
Real Name
Bill
I think that it is a Juvenile Barrie as I saw the yellow gape (flange?)

He is one I'm trying to ID

It looks similar to a young Redstart we see in France but with too much colour, anyway I don't think they exist out here.
My initial guess was a young Cape Robin-Chat because of the red tail feathers, but it looks nothing like the adult.

Any ideas

 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Location
S W France
Real Name
Bill
I know you asked Bill, not me. I'd say: though striking looking, they're the color of mustard. But I love all the shots, especially the one of the Cape Robin-Chat.

The Drongo looks raven-like. Are they a related species?

Lots of forked tailed Drongos out here.
They are quite (very) aggressive little birds that mob large Raptors and other large birds.
As Barrie said they are of the flycatcher family and you can tell that when you see them flying around, (they typically fly vertically from near the ground up about three or four metres.
In the bright sunlight here they cast a dark shadow on the ground and as they usually hang around in groups they appear to look like a few stealth bombers. I was semi mobbed by a pack of them last year. It was early in the morning and I sat on the grass and set a small tripod up ready to take shots. They surrounded my in the typical flycatching up and down flight mode and even circled my head about 2 metres off the group. They have a loud squeaky call and are said to mimic other birds. Smallish birds only about 25cm long
 

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
I
He is one I'm trying to ID

It looks similar to a young Redstart we see in France but with too much colour, anyway I don't think they exist out here.
My initial guess was a young Cape Robin-Chat because of the red tail feathers, but it looks nothing like the adult.

Any ideas

Bill, it certainly has the look of a member of the Chat family, however if it were a European species any juveniles from last year would have moulted by now into adult plumage, so I guess it's a southern African endemic, and that's an area in which I have no experience, sorry.

Barrie
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
I hope I can ask a gear question in this thread :eek: But my son is big into raptors and I'm intrigued by the behavior of our local backyard robins. We also love to hike in places with tons of birds. Without spending a ton of money can anyone recommend a decent camera or lens for capturing birds? I'm not interested in absolute IQ, it's simply about documentation. Even with all of the gear I have my longest focal length is 80mm.

FWIW I'm reading a fascinating book called What The Robin Knows and heartily recommend it.
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Location
S W France
Real Name
Bill
I hope I can ask a gear question in this thread :eek: But my son is big into raptors and I'm intrigued by the behavior of our local backyard robins. We also love to hike in places with tons of birds. Without spending a ton of money can anyone recommend a decent camera or lens for capturing birds? I'm not interested in absolute IQ, it's simply about documentation. Even with all of the gear I have my longest focal length is 80mm.

FWIW I'm reading a fascinating book called What The Robin Knows and heartily recommend it.

To start with any Nikon DSLR, sat D3100/3200 and Nikon 70 300mm f3.5/5.6 VR zoom - used is a good buy, but the new price is not bad.
Or other 70 300mm Nikon fit VR zooms

But with small birds you get what you pay for - but I found the Nikon 70 300 VR - very good value for money
If he can pick up a Nikon 300mm f4 .... That's the one to go for.

Lawrence A uses an Olympus set up that looks very effective
And Barrie gets good results with a Super Bridge Zoom

A tripod is also very useful

Sorry it's short but I am in a terrible WiFi area
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
To start with any Nikon DSLR, sat D3100/3200 and Nikon 70 300mm f3.5/5.6 VR zoom - used is a good buy, but the new price is not bad.
Or other 70 300mm Nikon fit VR zooms

But with small birds you get what you pay for - but I found the Nikon 70 300 VR - very good value for money
If he can pick up a Nikon 300mm f4 .... That's the one to go for.

Lawrence A uses an Olympus set up that looks very effective
And Barrie gets good results with a Super Bridge Zoom

A tripod is also very useful

Sorry it's short but I am in a terrible WiFi area

Thanks Bill. In fact I have a Nikon Df so that could work with the lenses you mention, and its high ISO performance can help too.
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Location
Troy, NY
I hope I can ask a gear question in this thread :eek: But my son is big into raptors and I'm intrigued by the behavior of our local backyard robins. We also love to hike in places with tons of birds. Without spending a ton of money can anyone recommend a decent camera or lens for capturing birds? I'm not interested in absolute IQ, it's simply about documentation. Even with all of the gear I have my longest focal length is 80mm.

FWIW I'm reading a fascinating book called What The Robin Knows and heartily recommend it.

I go in a different direction for photographing wildlife. I use a bridge (superzoom) camera. Either a Panasonic FZ150 or FZ200 both have 24-600 equivalent focal range (up to 1200 with digital zoom.

Here are some samples:

Peebles_FZ200_012-001_Medium_.JPG


FZ150_Peebles_Island_020_Medium_DxO.jpg


Peebles_at_Dusk_022_Medium_.JPG


FZ150_Peebles_Island_030_Medium_.JPG


Peebles_Marlene_s_Birthday_010_Medium_.JPG


Cheers, Jock
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Location
S W France
Real Name
Bill
Day_4_Birds

The first two images - I am not sure if I can claim it as a “twitch” – Barrie will have to advise me – I think not as I did not recognise it through my bins and would not have recognised it without the digital image – I’m not going to post this question on the bird forum as life is just too short!

Driving along and I, (my wife never bothers looking, if you get my drift), saw what I though were 4 or 5 big raptors circling high in the sky, so I started getting (really) excited.
Stopped the car, got my bins out and saw the longish neck so I knew that I was incorrect, but they were so high riding the “up currents” so my second guess was some kind of vulture.
When I got back to base I downloaded the images, and it looks like they were, White Storks (Ciconia ciconia), apparently they visit S Africa in the non breeding season and can live up to 30+ years, (if not shot before – many are killed and hunted on their migration route over Syria and N Africa)

But they are a Stork with a “story” – they have red legs, but most of the time their legs appear white – why, because they excrete on them to keep them cool – strange and (marvellous world).

Here are the images – taken with a 300mm lens x 1.4TC x 1.3 in camera crop = 550mm, then cropped to get “an image.”

The second two images are easy: the Ostrich is farmed in thousands, if not millions in this part of Africa. So the supermarkets are full of Ostrich meat, sausages, burgers, steaks etc
Farmed birds are kept in smallish fields and eat grain out of feeding dishes. They look very scruffy and forlorn having all of their white feathers and lots of the black plumage, a bit like battery hens in the UK, but kept outside.
BUT, occasionally a few escape and you come across the odd one or two in the wild, then they are shown to be what beautiful creatures they are.







 

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
Day_4_Birds

The first two images - I am not sure if I can claim it as a “twitch” – Barrie will have to advise me

"To twitch" is to dash around the country trying to see rare birds that OTHER people have found, so if you yourself find a rare bird you are not twitching, so no not a twitch Bill, but others who follow up your report would be twitching. I regard being called a twitcher as a gross insult, mainly because I don't twitch. This is a family site so I will refrain from giving my opinion of twitchers.

Barrie
 

pdh

Legend
Oh dear, I have to admit having done a mild twitch or two in my time; though I don't think I ever travelled more than 40 miles in doing so, which hardly makes me hardcore.
 

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