Part of the reason that I chose bird photography this month was to get out and enjoy the nice weather, as well as get familiar with a new lens I have purchased. So at first glance it may not make any sense that today I’m posting images from my last trip. I have gotten out a bit over the past couple of days and taken some bird images, and I have been really impressed with the lens so far. But I’m already half way through Sunday and I haven’t had a chance to start editing, so rather than miss posting altogether or rushing my editing process, I decided to go for some bird images from my catalogue that I haven’t posted before.
I hope you enjoy my selections for this week, and next week I will be sharing some of our local birds.
The WordPress photo challenge topic for the week are things that are distracting, and I need look no further than birds. Just yesterday, while taking my dog for an afternoon walk, a flash of yellow caught my eye in the bush, and I ended up rather mesmerized at the side of the road trying to photograph the birds flitting passed, mostly so I could try and identify them later. Those photos aren’t worth sharing, but I’m no different whilst on holiday either. Birds are definitely one of the things that stop me in my tracks so I can gaze at them in wonder.
I was going through my folder of edited photos and realized I have a large number of random bird photos ready to go. Which is good, because I’ve not managed to get out and capture any of the local wildlife lately!
Even splitting the group of photos I found into two, I’ve still got a fair number of bird photos to post in the future!
While organizing photos, I came across a few lilac-breasted roller shots that frankly, I forgot I had. They are from my trip this past October / November to Zimanga. While there, I didn’t have a lot of success capturing the roller, as most of the time we were driving when I noticed it, and it was gone by the time we stopped, if we were able to stop at all. If there is a more beautiful bird though, I’ve not seen it yet. When the sunlight strikes its feather, the colours are just amazing.
The lilac breasted roller is one of my favourite South African birds – it has such a wide variety of colours in its feathers. While I saw quite a few on my trip, usually it was while we were driving and they were flying away – not the best opportunity for capturing a photo. Here though, I lucked out. A bright sunny day really brings out the feather colours, but the flat white sky also serves as a good backdrop.
This little bird captivated me from my first sighting, but proved to be a difficult photography subject for the first couple of days. Obviously there was the usual scenario – that birds don’t necessarily sit still long enough for photographs. Then I had overcast weather or flat out rain that did not do the colours justice, or fading evening light. But in the end, I managed several lovely shots, one of which is now framed so I can see it every day.
“The Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) is a member of the roller family of birds. It is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula, preferring open woodland and savanna; it is largely absent from treeless places. Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, small birds and rodents moving about at ground level.
Nesting takes place in a natural hole in a tree where a clutch of 2–4 eggs is laid, and incubated by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defence of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds. During the breeding season the male will rise to great heights, descending in swoops and dives, while uttering harsh, discordant cries.
The sexes are alike in coloration. Juveniles do not have the long tail feathers that adults do.