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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:27 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
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Greater Double Collared Sunbird. Wow these guys dont sit still so with minimal depth of field something was always out of focus. the Background by the way is a Wild Olive Tree about 30 metres behind. the lens has a 9 blade diaphram which throws out the background into a nice creamy Bokeh.

im really sorry only managed to reduce to about 3.5 mb so all you dial upers I owe you all a beer at Shingwedzi!!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:29 am 
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Great photo Peter!
Peter Betts wrote:
im really sorry only managed to reduce to about 3.5 mb so all you dial upers I owe you all a beer at Shingwedzi!!

I took it down to just over 70k. I'm not on dial-up, but as I just saved you quite a few beers, would you hand me one at Shingwedzi? :wink:

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 Post subject: Bird photography at Addo
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:38 pm 
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Location: Canada
I will be visiting Addo next spring (March) and I'm a keen bird photographer. I'm not so much interested in seeing rarities or a huge list, but I need to get up pretty close to what I do see if I'm to get photos.
I have a 300 mm lens plus 1.4x and 2x teleconverters (extenders) so that's the limit of my range.
Any suggestions on specific places at Addo where birds congregate and I can get fairly close?
This would not include lion kills! :)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:54 am 
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Inside the Main Camp or even Mathyolweni will be good for photos. At our chalets in both camps the birds came close to us. My then 7 month old baby girl nearly got hold of a Fiscal Flycatcher, pinned down his tail with her finger but luckely dad was there to help the bird! Drongo's, Sunbirds, Boubou, Apalis etc around.

Image

No food was involved in getting the bird this close

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:09 am 
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Hi Marian

IMHO, the 3 best places would be the main camp itself, Domkrag and Spekboom. The main camp is very rich in birdlife that is quite habituated so with a bit of patience you will be able to stalk close enough. You should be able to get good shots of Green Wood-hoepoe, Black-collared Barbet, Red-winged and Cape Glossy Starlings, Southern Boubou, Cape Robin-chat, Cape, Southern-masked and Spotted-backed Weavers, Malachite, Amethyst and Greater Double-collared Sunbirds, Cape White-eyes, Dark-capped Bulbul, Sombre Greenbul, Lesser and Greater striped Swallows and if you want some action fun try and catch the White-rumped and Little Swifts as they fly around their nests at the back of the restaurant kitchen The birdhide at the maincamp is seldom good for photography because of the angle and the distance from the water but there are always Red Bishops and Black Crake that may be worth a try. At Domkrag the Cape Weavers, Fiscal Flycatchers and Karoo Scrub-robins come and beg for food and so make easy subjects. There are also usually Long-biled Crombec in the bush on the perimeter of the carpark at Domkrag. The thick bush at Spekboom makes stalking a bit difficult but there are tame Southern Boubous that are easy to shoot.

Everywhere else you must remain in your car so it is usually difficult to get close enough. That said, a number of the larger birds present in summer will be shootable from your vehicle, in particular Blue Crane, Denham's Bustard, White Stork and Secretary Birds (all occasionally present on the open ground at the start of the Gorah loop and sometimes near Domkrag). Near Domkrag there are always Southern Black Korhaans to be found. In summer Steppe Buzzards are common and you should be able to get close enough to them in your vehicle. Likewise with Pale Chanting Goshawks. Other larger birds you should be able to photograph from your vehicle along the roads would be Crowned Plover (Woodlands Dam and Hapoor), Cattle Egret (Hapoor) and Black-headed Heron (common and conspicuous). Also the 3 crows (Black, Pied and White-necked) are all common in the park and are quite approachable by car. Of the smaller birds often easy to photograph from your car the you should get Fiscal Flycatcher which are very common throughout the park as are Bokmakierie Bush-shrikes.

When photographing from your car approach the the subject very slowly and switch off the engine just before reaching the spot you want to stop. Then wait a few seconds before making any movement to allow them to settle. Sometimes off course you need to shoot straight away if they are obviously starting to move off ! I would suggest using a beanbag when shooting from the car, especially if you are using a TC.

You would need at least 3 days to work these various areas well. Good luck and I hope you enjoy your trip.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:16 pm 
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Wow! Thank you so much for the detailed info. That's exactly what I was hoping for. Yes, must get a beanbag.

We have three full days at Addo, so I should have time to check this all out.

Just FYI, a few of my bird shots (local and Trinidad) are posted at
http://www3.telus.net/softfocus/mbbirds.html

I can't wait for our trip!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:37 pm 
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Thanks so much j-ms, I shall start looking for them on Monday.

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 Post subject: Red-billed oxpecker
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:23 pm 
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Have just returned from a sweltering hot day in Addo - 38C - needless to say, not much was moving! We did, however, have two sightings of the red-billed oxpecker - 2 on a kudu near Domkrag and one on a buffalo lying in the water at Carol's Rest. We have had numerous trips to Addo over the years and this is our first sighting of them in Addo - was this just bad luck on our part over the years, or are they just starting to return now?

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 Post subject: Re: Red-billed oxpecker
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:23 am 
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Location: Addo - Southern Gate, where elephants left their footprint
Well spotted.
I had heard they were in the park but in all my travels into the park I've never seen them. :hmz:
Maybe Addo Elephant can give us the low down on these beautiful birds. I had heard that they had been re-introduced?????????? :huh:

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 Post subject: Re: Red-billed oxpecker
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:56 am 
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Apparently the Red Billed Hornbill were released awhile ago but I have never seen them in the Park only on surrounding farms apart from buff at Carol's Rest a few times...birds dont respect boundary fences :D Saw 2 on a White Rhino yesterday...not in Addo and the owner never introduced these birds

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 Post subject: Re: Red-billed oxpecker
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:47 pm 
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Location: Addo - Southern Gate, where elephants left their footprint
Quote:
the Red Billed Hornbill


Hey Peter,
What were you thinking about when you typed this? :doh:
If this is a new lifer for my bird list please let me know where I can go to spot it!!!! :cam:

Only joking :lol:
Hope to see the "Ox-peckers" in Addo thriving and showing themselves more often.

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 Post subject: Re: Red-billed oxpecker
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:25 am 
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The head still in Kruger...?!!

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 Post subject: Re: Red-billed oxpecker
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:36 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
The oxpeckers normally return to their release point if the rest of the family are there...maybe they decided to move on and start their own family.
The Bergkwagga HR's are planning a massive project with the oxpeckers and will they be managed to keep the family and friends in a cage while releasing only a few to go hunting. Once they keep in the habit more will be released till they decide that they want to stay and not move off in two's or threes's.


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 Post subject: Re: Red-billed oxpecker
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:41 am 
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Red-billed oxpeckers were introduced into the Park in 1988. They have done well and are fairly commonly seen. Apart from the wildlife in the Park, they also feed on the ticks off the Park's horses and we know of a number of nesting sites they use in the Park.

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 Post subject: Re: Red-billed oxpecker
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:07 am 
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Location: Addo - Southern Gate, where elephants left their footprint
Thanks for the info Addo Elephant and Katenda. :D
Hopefully we will not be getting too many of Peter's "Red billed Hornbills" invading the park. :wink: :wink: :lol:

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