Bird photographer at dawn

I will be in Brussels when this post appears, traveling for a few days on business. To keep the customers satisfied, I have scheduled this post in my absence: a photograph of a solitary photographer, reflected through the reeds, in the mirror-like waters of the vlei at Marievale – a mirror of myself, in a…

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Red-knobbed coot

Spain has saturated my posts and photographs for some time now; with this series done, my eye hankers after water, marsh, sky and birdlife. So the next few posts mark a return to Marievale Bird Sanctuary, and a trawl through the images from my last visit, in November. There are flamingoes, widow birds, ducks of…

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Pied Avocet, Marievale

I like the harmony and balance, the silent concentration, in these photographs of pied avocets with their swooping bills wading in the waters at the Marievale Bird Sanctuary. Time for a break, I thought, in the Spanish series…  

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Blacksmith Plover

From photographs of birds, taken during my recent field trip to the Marievale Bird Sanctuary, this blog will see a change of scene, to our travels in Spain – but only when we are back, Rob and I, towards the end of September, from Andalucia and Madrid. Meanwhile here is one image – a blacksmith…

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Pied Kingfisher

This Pied Kingfisher was hard at work when I came across him, rising from a bed of reeds, hovering, swivelling his head this way and that, wings beating madly as he looked for his dinner. I took a million photographs, the first lot using a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion, and then a…

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Coot Chicks

These little chicks are coot, you might say. I saw them, on the vlei at Marievale, far out on the water, at the furthest reach of my 500mm telephoto, and even then I had to crop the images severely. The teeniest chicks, interestingly, were the furthest out – mere orange-beaked fluff,  beside the black hulls…

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Bird on a Wire

Here’s a good one. A prisoner in a Turkish prison goes to the prison library, and asks for a particular book. The prison librarian replies, ‘We don’t have that book. But we do have the author.’ Signs of the times, you might say – the modern dystopia. History has not ended – in fact, it’s…

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Against the light

From the corner of the hide, you looked out across the water, directly into the light, where the coots were squabbling and giving chase, and I knew at once that this was an image made for black-and-white. I took several photographs, aware of how tricky the light was, and struggling with the heavy lens to…

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Squacco Heron lift-off

Now here’s a thing.  Going through my photos from Marievale, I came across a nice sequence of images of a squacco heron marching through the reeds. You can almost hear the martial music – tum ti tum ti tum ti DUM – as it crashes onwards and finally, clumsily, launches into the air. I was…

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White-Throated Swallow

This little fellow, I think, has the confidence to speak for himself. Photographed from a hide at Marievale, with the Nikon D500 and Nikon 200 – 500 mm lens. The more I shoot with it, the more I love this combo!

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