Here are two more images – handheld, with the Nikon 70-300mm, of the Rosy-Faced Lovebirds in the trees outside our yard.
The previous image, in my last post, was taken with the Nikon 200-500m lens I have just purchased, using a monopod, and I have to say I am struck, on closer examination, by the superior quality of the bigger lens – its brightness and contrast, as well as its sharpness, which would have been better of course if I hadn’t been so lazy and had set it up on a tripod.
Still, this is just practice and experimentation, until the time comes – i.e., when we go to Madikwe – to get serious.
This business of being on my own, here in Johannesburg, is for the birds I think. Fortunately Rob will be winging (eish, that is crushingly bad!) her way back to South Africa from Detroit, via Toronto and London later this week, and I will be picking her up at the airport on Thursday morning. Not a moment too soon, I say.
But staying behind, after I returned two weeks ago, has meant she was able to attend her nephew Kevin’s funeral in Dearborn yesterday, and reconnect with her family, something hugely important to her, especially at a time like this.
But I will be glad to see her.
Ten days after she gets back, we will be off to Madikwe Game Reserve, with Kath and Gareth and Thomas and a bunch (flock?) of their friends – wildlife, campfires, the smell of the bush veld. I spent a little time this afternoon, trying out the Nikon 200-500mm lens I have invested in, for this and future birding and wildlife occasions – the subject, suitably enough, was a flock of rosy-faced lovebirds, who live in the eaves of the block of townhouses one up from us.
Here is a sample image.
We were standing in our garden one evening, not long after we’d moved in. There were birds in the high branches of the tree that stands outside our wall, on the street. “They look like lovebirds,” I said. “But they can’t be. You don’t get lovebirds in Johannesburg.”
But they looked like lovebirds, so I got out the binoculars. Unmistakable. I got out the Roberts bird guide. Again, unmistakable. These were Rosy-Faced Lovebirds, a resident flock who live in the rafters of the townhouse one block up from us. You see them in the evenings, gathering in the same tree, or in the morning, in the tree that stands across from my study window. And I was right, in a way – according to the bird book, the lovebirds are endemic to Namibia and the north-west corner of the country but are not resident in Johannesburg. They must have moved in recently, since the book was published – climate change, perhaps, and changing habitats.
But it’s nice to think of them here, making their new home in the city, filling the air with their calls and colours. Migrants, like us. And a kind of a welcome party.