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Kingfishers of South Africa.

We have 10 Kingfishers in South Africa of which 3 are summer visitors, these are the African Pygmy, the Woodlands and the Grey Headed Kingfishers.

 

I have yet to see an African Pygmy Kingfisher and do not have a photo of a Striped Kingfisher. Here are the other 8 that occur in South Africa. A few of them look very similar and the color of the bill and legs are used to id them.

 

The Woodlands Kingfisher

A blue/black kingfisher with a red and black bill and black legs

 

CB7A4630.jpg

 

 

The Mangrove Kingfisher

Very difficult to find let alone photograph. Has a all red bill and red legs.

 

IMG_0016.jpg

 

 

The Grey headed Kingfisher

Pale grey head and chestnut belly. Red bill (black in juveniles)

 

CB7A4570.jpg

 

 

The Pied Kingfisher

The only black and white kingfisher. Black bill. male has a double breast band and the female a single band.

 

CB7A7212.jpg

 

 

The Giant Kingfisher

The largest of our kingfishers with a black bill and rufous underparts. Male has chestnut breat and the female has a white breast and chestnut belly.

 

IMG_479.jpg

 

 

The Malachite Kingfisher

Turquoise and black crown and bill is red in the adult.

 

CB7A5524.jpg

 

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

Brown head streaked with black and rufous patches on sides of breast. Red bill. The similar striped kingfisher has a red and black bill.

 

IMG_5654.jpg

 

 

The Half Collared Kingfisher

Black billed with blue back and rump. Blue cheeks. Underparts paler than in the malachite

 

CB7A7106.jpg

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beautiful @@Sharifa now you need to get photos of the missing ones :D

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Posted (edited)

I have only seen 6 off of your list.

 

gallery_37950_924_5904151.jpg

 

Here is a striped one we saw in South Luangwa NP, Zambia, last year

Edited by Tdgraves
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post-24763-0-26911000-1401125601_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-29010200-1401125620_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-30981100-1401125662_thumb.jpg

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Posted (edited)

more beautiful images, thank you @@Tdgraves & @@Peter Connan

One can never have too many kingfisher photographs

Edited by Soukous
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We found this one fishing for dinner....

 

gallery_48813_1149_374537.jpg

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Beautiful images @Sharifa@Tdgraves@Peter Connan

 

Not South Africa but here's a Malagasy Kingfisher

 

DSC_2096.jpg

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Lovely pics of the Kingfishers.

 

My birding trips are limited to mainly Kruger National Park so I've not had the chance to see the Half Collared or Mangrove. Luck was on my side for the last trip and managed to get a picture of the Pygmy Kingfisher. I'll attempt to upload the snap later.

 

Would you mind sharing the location of where you took the pictures of the Half Collared and Mangrove Kingfishers?

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Posted (edited)

My favourite and most unique Kingfisher sighting ever. Saw this couple courting for a while. He brought her food a few times before they got all romantic.

Mating Woodlands Kingfishers



Here is the promised Pygmy picture.

Pygmy Cropped


Edited by Riaanf31

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@@Riaanf31 You are linking to the small images in your gallery. Click on the thumbnails, expand the image to full size and then copy and paste the image URL into the post.

 

Matt

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I would be very interested to know which of these Malachite Kingfishers are the youngsters and which the adults. @@Sharifa said the bill becomes redder as they age, but does that also apply to the coloration of the back? Also, in my sightings from Saturday, the darker birds also seemed larger in those occasions where two birds were seen together?

 

post-24763-0-99911700-1428334465_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-47752700-1428334475_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-63742200-1428334494_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-80185200-1428334504_thumb.jpg

 

Pied:

post-24763-0-73359800-1428334527_thumb.jpg

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@@Peter Connan the first 2 pics of the Malchite are adults. Pics 3 and 4 are juvenile. Beautiful images

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Thank you @@Sharifa!

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post-49296-0-54137600-1431114398_thumb.jpg

~ @@Dulini Moments:

 

What a shot !!!!!!!

Superb timing resulting in such a compelling image.

Many thanks for posting that in Safaritalk.

Tom K.

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post-49296-0-87107900-1431114562_thumb.jpg

~ @@Peter Connan:

 

Ai-yai-aieeeeeeeeeeee !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's a SPECTACULAR close-up!

The saturated colors, focus and sense of proximity is stunning!

Looking at your kingfisher photos sets the bar considerably higher for my next encounter with them, perhaps during the upcoming July, 2015 safari.

I really appreciate those kingfishers.

Tom K.

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@@Tom Kellie, I was once priveleged to have a discussion with Grant Atkinson, a well-known local bird guide.

 

He mentioned to me was that one of his secrets was to collect knowledge of places where specific species could be regularly found and, even more importantly, approached closely. Often, these may be the campsites and so forth, but for Malachite Kingfishers, I have yet to find a better place than Marievale Bird Sanctuary.

 

In this particular instance, the bird was so close that I had to step away from the hide's viewing slit, as it was too close for my 500mm lens to focus...

 

Thank you for your praises.

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@@Tom Kellie, I was once priveleged to have a discussion with Grant Atkinson, a well-known local bird guide.

 

He mentioned to me was that one of his secrets was to collect knowledge of places where specific species could be regularly found and, even more importantly, approached closely. Often, these may be the campsites and so forth, but for Malachite Kingfishers, I have yet to find a better place than Marievale Bird Sanctuary.

 

In this particular instance, the bird was so close that I had to step away from the hide's viewing slit, as it was too close for my 500mm lens to focus...

 

Thank you for your praises.

 

~ @@Peter Connan:

 

This information about the Marievale Bird Sanctuary is highly appreciated.

What you describe about having to step back in order to meet the minimum focal distance rings very true for me. I've had the same problem with my 400mm lens, as recently as last weekend in Masai Mara.

The more that I read through the many sections of Safaritalk, the more that I wish that I were a more technologically savvy individual.

What would be invaluable on Safaritalk would be a page with a moderately interactive map of Africa, with countries shown and the individual national parks and nature reserves listed within each country.

An interested user might then click on a park or reserve of interest which would take them to a basic introductory page, offering fundamental information, likely highlights seen during a safari, and links to trip reports or forum comments concerning that particular park.

Thus Marievale Bird Sanctuary would be listed within South Africa, with a page describing its size, entry fees, typical sightings, and a link to ‘South Africa's Kingfishers’ as well as any other relevant Safaritalk forums.

I'm far too junior on Safaritalk to make such a suggestion to @@Game Warden or the three moderators, but I hope that someday such an arrangement may come about, to assist the interested reader to explore various perspectives about locations of interest.

Thanks so much for bringing to our attention the approachable Malachite Kingfishers of Marievale Bird Sanctuary, east by south of Johannesburg.

Tom K.

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@@Peter Connan

WOW.. what stunning pictures. i went a nice shade of green and my wife got worried that something was wrong. Mind sharing the equipment and settings please?

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here is a picture of a white throated (indian) KF for comparison.

Nowhere as good as Peter's pictures. Must be the KF at fault. :)

gallery_45142_1255_4686199.jpg

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@@Earthian that is a beautiful photo of a beautiful bird!

 

Mine are mostly Nikon D7000 with 500mm f4, with or without TC1.4E2. I also sometimes use a 300mm f4, usually with the same TC, but not often for kingfishers as they are just too small.

 

For birds, I normally set my camera up as follows:

Manual mode, but with Auto-ISO turned on (so in fact not manual at all. @@Morkel Erasmus calls this "ISO Priority". My ISO ceiling is set to 3200, aperture normally f5.6 but if there is lots of light I may close it down a bit, and for shutter speed I normally aim for 1/2000, but this is way too slow for the small kingfishers. I will adjust this depending on what ISO I am getting. I also use back-button focus and AF-C exclusively and usually with only a single point active, although on larger birds I will use 9 points.

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Here is a photo of a Striped Kingfisher

post-50235-0-50955500-1451289921_thumb.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Beautiful photo and very warm welcome Jonathan!

Edited by Peter Connan
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~ @@Jonathan Morris

 

What a jewel-like bird!

It seems so petite.

Very nice image.

Thank you.

Tom K.

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@@Peter Connan and @@Tom Kellie

 

Thank you

 

Yes the striped Kingfisher is relatively smaller compared to the Brown-hooded Kingfisher but larger than the Malachite Kingfisher.

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@@Jonathan Morris

 

Where did you take the shot of the Striped Kingfisher?

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