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 originally planning to combine the two areas of the Sabi Sands I stayed at into one highlights post, but I’ve been having such difficulty finding the time to work on my photos the last few weeks that it just wasn’t feasible. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to get to the final highlights post this weekend, so I can move on to the other editing projects that I want to do – and get out and do some more shooting too!
This time-lapse was one of my first attempts, and shows a mid afternoon at the dam in front of Chitwa lodge. Lots of waterbuck around that afternoon!
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.