2017-01-24: WPC Graceful

I can’t think of anything more graceful than watching birds in flight.  Trying to capture that grace and beauty with my camera is a challenge that I am always happy to undertake 🙂

 

tawny-eagle
A tawny eagle, Masai Mara, Kenya.
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A pied kingfisher carries home the catch of the day.
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A pair of gulls catch the eye of a marabou stork.
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A pelican soars of the Kazinga Channel in Uganda.
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A fish eagle crosses the river, heading to its mate.

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WPC: Graceful

The Daily Post: From Every Angle

After seeing this challenge, I decided to go through the photos I took of fish eagles throughout my last trip to Southern Africa.  I saw them from a lot of different vantage points, including from above, which is a unique way to watch birds.

I hope you enjoy!

Looking into the river, looking for the next meal. 1/1000sec, f10, ISO 400
Looking into the river, looking for the next meal.
1/1000sec, f10, ISO 400
This juvenile fish eagle was perched in a tree across from my room.  The branches in the background are distracting, but I couldn't ask him to move, and I didn't want to spend ages photoshopping them out. 1/32sec, f5.6, ISO100
This juvenile fish eagle was perched in a tree across from my room. The branches in the background are distracting, but I couldn’t ask him to move, and I didn’t want to spend ages photoshopping them out.
1/32sec, f5.6, ISO100
The tilt of the head shows off the hooked book. 1/320sec, f5.6, ISO 100
The tilt of the head shows off the hooked book.
1/320sec, f5.6, ISO 100
An attempt at dinner as the light fades.  This time, he was unsuccessful. 1/800sec, f5.6, ISO 6400
An attempt at dinner as the light fades. This time, he was unsuccessful.
1/800sec, f5.6, ISO 6400
A view from behind.1/800sec, f7.1, ISO 800
A view from behind.1/800sec, f7.1, ISO 800
Watching a fish eagle fly from above, during a helicopter tour of the Okavango Delta. 1/1000sec, f9.0, ISO 900
Watching a fish eagle fly from above, during a helicopter tour of the Okavango Delta.
1/1000sec, f9.0, ISO 900
Capturing a fly by. 1/250 sec, f5.6, ISO 160
Capturing a fly by.
1/250 sec, f5.6, ISO 160
A pair of fish eagle perch along the river. 1/200sec, f7.1, ISO 200
A pair of fish eagles perch along the river.
1/200sec, f7.1, ISO 200
Flying off into the sunset. 1/800sec, f5.6, ISO 2200
Flying off into the sunset.
1/800sec, f5.6, ISO 2200

Daily Post Photo Challenge

Okavango Delta Highlights

The area of the delta where I stayed was one of permanent water, but day by day, changes in the landscape were apparent as the flood waters flowing in from the Angola highlands began to fill previously dry channels.  I think I had the best of both worlds as I was able to see the delta from both land and water – and as a special treat, by air on a helicopter tour.

I took over 1800 photos in 3 nights in the delta.  I hope you enjoy a few of the highlights.

A lone giraffe wanders through an area of new flood.
A lone giraffe wanders through an area of new flood.
A leopard peers down from a tree.
A leopard peers down from a tree.
A spectacular sunset over the delta, taken while on a sundowner boat trip.
A spectacular sunset over the delta, taken while on a sundowner boat trip.
A gorgeous female leopard using a fallen tree as a vantage point.  I had no expectation of seeing leopard at all in the delta, but I had told my guide the previous afternoon that my dream photo would be capturing a leopard on a tree branch.  In two days, I saw three leopards.  Talk about lucky!
A gorgeous female leopard using a fallen tree as a vantage point. I had no expectation of seeing leopard at all in the delta, but I had told my guide the previous afternoon that my dream photo would be capturing a leopard on a tree branch. In two days, I saw three leopards. Talk about lucky!
A pair of spotted hyena cubs rest outside of their den.
A pair of spotted hyena cubs rest outside of their den.
Stand-by passengers at the airstrip?
Stand-by passengers at the airstrip?
A fish eagle from above.
A fish eagle from above.
The delta by air.
The delta by air.
A herd of elephants from above.
A herd of elephants from above.
Water crossing!  One of the camp vehicles carrying luggage from the airstrip to the camp.
Water crossing! One of the camp vehicles carrying luggage from the airstrip to the camp.afr

Fish Eagles

On my first trip to South Africa, I completely blanked on the name of this bird while watching a pair perched in a tree along the river, and asked my guide the brilliant question “What is their primary prey?”  Fish.  Oh dear… I felt quite silly. I learned a bit more about the fish eagles this past trip (thank you to Graeme, Rebecca and Vincent for all the valuable information throughout my stay!)  You can tell the difference between the males and females by the white front feathers.  The males have a shirt, and the girls have a skirt.  I had serious trouble distinguishing between the two at times though – those fish eagle girls sometimes have VERY short skirts!  I’ll give my best guess as to the sexes in the pictures below.  I’ve got a 50/50 shot of being right. Have a great evening!

Maybe not the nicest perch, but it certainly was a popular one.  During my two weeks at Zimanga, I saw herons, kingfishers, fish eagles and an assortment of other birds on this dam structure. 1/320 sec, f5.6, ISO 640
Maybe not the nicest perch, but it certainly was a popular one. During my two weeks at Zimanga, I saw herons, kingfishers, fish eagles and an assortment of other birds on this dam structure.  By looks I think this is a male, but I think this may be the eagle that I was told was indeed a female with a very short skirt.
1/320 sec, f5.6, ISO 640
A male fish eagle gave us a fly by while we were out doing our monitoring activities.  The more I look at this picture, the more it looks like I (badly) photoshopped the bird into the background.  I can assure you I didn't! 1/800 sec, f5.6 ISO 800
A male fish eagle gave us a fly by while we were out doing our monitoring activities. The more I look at this picture, the more it looks like I (badly) photoshopped the bird into the background. I can assure you I didn’t!
1/800 sec, f5.6 ISO 800
A female fish eagle along the shores of Jozini Dam.  I saw several fish eagles during my morning boat trip, but unfortunately for my photography, most were too far away to get a reasonable picture on a somewhat bumpy boat ride. 1/1250 sec, f5.6, ISO 320
A female fish eagle along the shores of Jozini Dam. I saw several fish eagles during my morning boat trip, but unfortunately for my photography, most were too far away to get a reasonable picture on a somewhat bumpy boat ride.
1/1250 sec, f5.6, ISO 320
I'm not even going to hazard a guess on the shirt vs skirt for this photo! 1/1600 sec, f6.3, ISO 400
I’m not even going to hazard a guess on the shirt vs skirt for this photo!
1/1600 sec, f6.3, ISO 400