2019-08-31: Birds – Shades of Blue

Travelling through southern Africa, pretty much any time of year, will provide the opportunity to see a great variety of birds.  Today I chose to focus on ones with feathers in shades of blue.  I hope you enjoy the variety of images today, and wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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A lilac breasted roller
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A burchell’s starling
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A white-bellied sunbird
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A pair of cape glossy starlings
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A green wood-hoopoe
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A cape glossy starling
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A wire-tailed swallow
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A double-collared sunbird
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A lilac breasted roller

Four nights in Cape Town

A quick panorama from the top of table mountain.
A quick panorama from the top of table mountain.
The old limestone quarry at Robben Island.
The old limestone quarry at Robben Island.
Rusted barbed wires around Robben Island are just one of the reminders of its very sad past.
Rusted barbed wires around Robben Island are just one of the reminders of its very sad past.
A view of Table Mountain from Robben Island.
A view of Table Mountain from Robben Island.
A couple of hungry African penguin chicks beg their parents for food at Boulders beach.
A couple of hungry African penguin chicks beg their parents for food at Boulders beach.
A baby baboon, no more than a few days old, scampered around the side of the road, seen on our way into Franschhoek.
A baby baboon, no more than a few days old, scampered around the side of the road, seen on our way into Franschhoek.
An orange breasted sunbird on some flowers (which I didn't note the name of) at the Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town.
An orange breasted sunbird on some flowers (which I didn’t note the name of) at the Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town.

I am gratefully, happily, joyfully back in Southern Africa again, and spent the past few days in Cape Town. This time, I was lucky enough to get the cable car to the top of Table Mountain (the “tablecloth” covered it almost my entire stay last time, and high winds had the cable car closed). I took the journey to Robben Island, seeing where Nelson Mandela spent his imprisonment and heard a first-hand account about what life was like in the prison, and had a lovely day trip to Franschhoek, the Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach (penguins!).

Honestly though, the absolute highlights of my time in Cape Town was having the opportunity to meet up with a friend I met my first trip over, and finally meeting my fabulous SA based travel agent in person.

I’ve brought along a tablet/PC hybrid to back up photos, and the editing capacity is a bit on the sluggish side, but I will do my best to get a few highlight photos posted when I can, because I can honestly say I would much rather be outside enjoying the beautiful scenery than spending too much time inside on the computer.

I’ve finally had a chance to sit down to post this one day two of my time in Namibia, depending on internet connections, I might get a chance to post some photos of the desert and animals in the next couple of days.

Sunbirds

I’m both happy and irritated with myself at the moment.  Happy that I discovered a few additional sunbird photos that had not been properly tagged, and annoyed with myself for not going through the proper workflow to begin with.

That off my chest, here are a few additional sunbirds I saw during my last trip to South Africa.  Enjoy!

My best attempt at an identification - I believe this is a female amethyst sunbird. 1/800 Sec, f5.6, ISO 800
My best attempt at an identification – I believe this is a female amethyst sunbird.
1/800 Sec, f5.6, ISO 800
A purple-banded sunbird.
A purple-banded sunbird.
A male purple-banded sunbird perched in a distance tree. 1/640 sec, f5.6, ISO 400
A male purple-banded sunbird perched in a distance tree.
1/640 sec, f5.6, ISO 400
A female scarlet-chested sunbird feeding on aloe. 1/640 sec, f5.6, ISO 400
A female scarlet-chested sunbird feeding on aloe.
1/640 sec, f5.6, ISO 400
A huge stretch to reach the perfect aloe blossom. 1/640 sec, f5.6, ISO 400
A huge stretch to reach the perfect aloe blossom.
1/640 sec, f5.6, ISO 400
A female scarlet-chested sunbird in flight. 1/640 sec, f5.6, ISO 400
A female scarlet-chested sunbird in flight.
1/640 sec, f5.6, ISO 400

Scarlet Chested Sunbirds

I decided to work through the last of the sunbird photos I had flagged off, so that I could start on something new in the coming week.  Hopefully 4 posts in a row dedicated to just one bird type isn’t too boring.  I had hoped that I could include the white fronted sunbird I captured as well, but those photos were taken from the hide and the bird was in a tree quite far away.  Sadly, they are completely lacking.

1/320sec, f5.6, ISO 140
1/320sec, f5.6, ISO 140
It looks like this sunbird has a streak of pollen on his chest. 1/320sec, f5.6, ISO 180
It looks like this sunbird has a streak of pollen on his chest.
1/320sec, f5.6, ISO 180
I include this photo only because I absolutely love the shape her wings has created.  It looks like she is drawing a cloak around herself. 1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO 500
I include this photo only because I absolutely love the shape her wings have created. It looks like she is drawing a cloak around herself.
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO 500
After all that editing of sunbirds in aloe plants, I wanted to try something a bit different.  This photo was taken with the house in the background, giving a stark white backdrop.  I quite like the black and white treatment.  Thoughts? 1/1600sec, f5.6, ISO 400
After all that editing of sunbirds in aloe plants, I wanted to try something a bit different. This photo was taken with the house in the background, giving a stark white backdrop. I quite like the black and white treatment. Thoughts?
1/1600sec, f5.6, ISO 400
A male scarlet chested sunbird caught with an open mouth, and covered in pollen. 1/100sec, f5.6, ISO 800
A male scarlet chested sunbird caught with an open mouth, and covered in pollen.
1/100sec, f5.6, ISO 800
A male scarlet chested sunbird stretches for an aloe flower. 1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO 800
A male scarlet chested sunbird stretches for an aloe flower.
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO 800
1/800 sec, f5.6, ISO 800
1/800 sec, f5.6, ISO 800

Scarlet Chested Sunbird on Aloe

Scarlet chested sunbird – dirty look

A scarlet chested sunbird appears to be giving a bee a dirty look.  I guess the bee was on the aloe flower she wanted to eat from! 1/640sec, f8.0, ISO400
A scarlet chested sunbird appears to be giving a bee a dirty look. I guess the bee was on the aloe flower she wanted to eat from!
1/640sec, f8.0, ISO400

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Female Scarlet Chested Sunbird

While at the Zimanga volunteer house, I had a great time in the garden on a few afternoons, taking pictures of whatever birds happened to be hanging around.  A pair of scarlet chested sunbirds allowed me to hover around them for close to an hour while they had a meal at an aloe plant.  Unfortunately, getting a photo of both of them together was not in the cards, but I do have lots more photos of them to go through and post in the near future.

1/100sec, f5.6, ISO800
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO800

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Female Scarlet Chested Sunbird