Skittering across the water – the (un)Common Moorhen

Marievale Bird Sanctuary is a small area of wetland, bounded by farms, distant dwellings, power pylons, a highway, about an hour’s drive east of Johannesburg, and – despite its size – home to an astonishing variety and number of birds, waterfowl in particular.

The last (and only) time I had been there was about ten years ago, when my daughter Eve and I had ventured forth in the Landy, and spent a happy day in bird hides and in open country, watching and photographing the coots, cranes and other birdlife. On Easter Friday, Rob and I made a return visit.

Bird photography is notoriously difficult, and I have seldom been happy with my images, so in preparation for our day out of town I did some research, including into the almost magical powers of the Nikon D500. The upshot was that, the night before, I set the camera to burst mode and continuous focus, set a high ISO of 2000, and the shutter speed to 1/4000 of a second.

Thus prepared, I ventured forth with Rob – and I have to say, am more than happy with the results. This common, moorhen, for instance, skittering across the water.

Nikon D500, 70-300mm. Processed in Lightroom and Colour Efex Pro.

4 Comments

  1. Seeing these majestic birds in motion is amazing! Look like Jesus birds walking on water. Well done, Glen!

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