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

2018-06-10: Birds Projects – Sparrows and Swallows

It has been a challenging week for photographing the birds, with dull, cold, rainy days, and flat, lifeless skies.  But, regardless of the weather, the show must go on, and if I were on holiday I wouldn’t give up on taking pictures just because the weather wasn’t perfect.

I took a trip early in the week to a nearby farm where there are nest boxes for swallows and bluebirds.  While I saw a couple of brief glimpses of the bluebirds, I didn’t capture any images, so I will have to go back and try again for those.  I did get some good images of the swallows and bluebirds in the same area a couple of years ago, you can find that old post here.

It looks like the sun may make a brief appearance today, so it’s time to sign off and get outside and get shooting.  I hope you enjoy this week’s images, I am hoping to have some hummingbird images to share next week.

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I find it difficult naming the wide variety of small, brown and beige coloured birds we have in the area, but I am almost certain this is a Clay-Coloured Sparrow.  While it looks like the bird is singing a beautiful song, it actually sounded like some type of buzzing insect, which is the exact description of the song for this sparrow in my bird book.

To find out more about the Clay-Coloured Sparrow (and here the insect buzz call), check out the link below.

All About Birds – Clay Coloured Sparrow

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A tree sparrow peeks out from the nesting box.
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A tree sparrow couple during one of the brief moments of sunlight while I was out.

 

Lesser Striped Swallows

I had a wonderful time watching the lesser striped swallows while staying at the Zimanga volunteer house.  There really wasn’t a time at home when they weren’t keeping us company, as they had established two nests inside the house, and one on the front porch where we typically had our meals.

I got used to them calling and chattering from the window when I checked my email (I wish I could find a link to post of their calls; they make such wonderful sounds) or swooping above my head while I had lunch or dinner outside.  My vantage point was usually not great to take photos of the swallows (lots of shadows), but spending the time watching them build their nests and interacting with each other was such a treat.

Since I don’t have a lot of variety in my swallow photos, I decided to take my favourites, and edit each of them in different ways.  Adding things like a vintage film effect isn’t part of my normal editing process; this has been a fun post to get ready.

It was lovely to capture on of the swallows on a bright, sunny day. 1/640 sec, f8.0, ISO 720
It was lovely to capture one of the swallows on a bright, sunny day.
1/640 sec, f8.0, ISO 720
Eyeing each other up. 1/1600sec, f5.6, ISO 400
Eyeing each other up.
1/1600sec, f5.6, ISO 400
Mid call or asking for some food?  I'm really not sure. 1/1600sec, f5.6, ISO 400
Mid call or asking for some food? I’m really not sure.
1/1600sec, f5.6, ISO 400
Coming into land on the window frame.  Edited with my normal, minimal adjustments. 1/1600sec, f6.3, ISO 400
Coming in to land on the window frame. Edited with my normal, minimal adjustments.
1/1600sec, f6.3, ISO 400

Swallows

The hazy days of summer.  A combination of early morning fog and the sun coming up from behind the Golden Ears Mountains.  1/640sec, f5.6, ISO400
The hazy days of summer. A combination of early morning fog and the sun coming up from behind the Golden Ears Mountains.
1/640sec, f5.6, ISO400
A northern rough winged swallow. 1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO640
A northern rough winged swallow.
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO640
I'd never before noticed such a huge group of swallows.  They stayed out over the water only for a short time, and then all headed back towards the trees and grasses. 1/640sec, f5.6, ISO400
I’d never before noticed such a huge group of swallows. They stayed out over the water only for a short time, and then all headed back towards the trees and grasses.
1/640sec, f5.6, ISO400
I've been lucky enough to capture some decent photos of both the northern rough winged swallow, and this cliff swallow.  I've definitely seen some barn swallows in the mix as well, but I haven't managed to get any photos of them yet. 1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO640.
I’ve been lucky enough to capture some decent photos of both the northern rough winged swallow, and this cliff swallow. I’ve definitely seen some barn swallows in the mix as well, but I haven’t managed to get any photos of them yet.
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO640.