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Tom Kellie

Show us your vultures...

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Trigonoceps occipitalis in Flight



Photographed at 3:11 pm on 7 February, 2014 in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, using an EOS 1D X camera and an EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II super-telephoto lens.


ISO 100, 1/4000 sec., f/2.8, 400mm focal length, handheld Manual exposure.


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Flying along the course of the Mara River was a solitary bird with a broad wingspan. Watching its powerful wingstrokes I wondered what species flew with such grace.


It was Trigonoceps occipitalis, White-headed Vulture. The wingtip feathers riffled ever so slightly, enabling the great bird to make a gentle turn towards the direction from which it had come.



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Lovely flight shot @@Tom Kellie

 

This species is the one I have wanted to see for a long time. Photo doesn't do him justice. A magnificent bearded vulture or lammergeyer. Taken along the Balang Shan Pass in Sichuan on the way up to the Tibetan Plateaux.

15833522960_89fa9b2238_z.jpgPB090254 Lammergeir by Jo Dale, on Flickr

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Up in Ruoergai we came across a dead dog- yet another road casualty. Feeding on it were ravens and this impressive Himalayan Griffon who allowed a very close approach from our vehicle.

 

Both shots with Olympus E-5 and 50-200 lens.

 

15884002438_67181e95b9_z.jpgPB131261 Himalayan Griffon by Jo Dale, on Flickr

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White-backed Vultures at Mana Pools 2010

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Black backed Jackal and vultures in Kruger National Park, near Satara.Olympus E-620, 50-200 ed lens and 1.4 extender. Iso 640, 1/2000 sec at 283 mm f 4.9.

 

 

5210039728_a93e9fe7f6_b.jpgoli to satara 199 Black Backed Jackal and vultures on carcass by Jo Dale, on Flickr

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Lovely flight shot @@Tom Kellie

 

This species is the one I have wanted to see for a long time. Photo doesn't do him justice. A magnificent bearded vulture or lammergeyer. Taken along the Balang Shan Pass in Sichuan on the way up to the Tibetan Plateaux.

 

~ @@kittykat23uk

 

Thank you very much!

Vulture flight makes stunning images, as your bearded vulture shows.

It's ironic that you photographed one in the country where I live, yet the only one that I've ever seen was in central Kenya!

I'm thrilled that the ‘Show us your vultures...’ forum is coming to life.

They're such ecologically vital species, as well as having a beauty while flying that's uniquely theirs.

Tom K.

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White-backed Vultures at Mana Pools 2010

 

~ @@marg

 

That's quite a crowd of vultures!

Great image!

Were they so closely together because of carrion on the ground?

Tom K.

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Black backed Jackal and vultures in Kruger National Park, near Satara.Olympus E-620, 50-200 ed lens and 1.4 extender. Iso 640, 1/2000 sec at 283 mm f 4.9.

 

~ @@kittykat23uk

 

Is the jackal smallish, or are the vultures fairly sizable?

In any case, a fascinating ‘species interaction’ image.

It's very helpful to know the camera settings — thank you!

Tom K.

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Torgos tracheliotus Atop a Tree



Photographed at 4:19 pm on 7 February, 2014 in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, using an EOS 1D X camera and an EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II super-telephoto lens.


ISO 100, 1/400 sec., f/2.8, 400mm focal length, handheld Manual exposure.


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From my first safari, in Masai Mara in August, 2011, until the present, I've had an affinity for Torgos tracheliotus, Lappet-faced Vulture. Whenever they're spotted I smile.


My first-ever morning game drive included lengthy observation of several Torgos tracheliotus feasting on a carcass. I admired their powerful wings and intense eyes.


Spotting these two at the conclusion of an all-day game drive, I was grateful that weary Anthony obliged me for this image of a bird I look forward to seeing in each visit.

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Posted (edited)

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) soaring over the Francis Marion National Forest in South Carolina:

 

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Here is a Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) that visited my backyard birdbath a couple of summers ago. She is showing a brood patch, so she was apparently nesting at the time.

 

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Edited by offshorebirder
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Lappet-faced vulture (Mara Triangle)

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@@Bush dog

That is a beautiful picture of the Lappet-faced vulture - it works really well in black and white - it brings out the textures so clearly. A very handsome bird.

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@@TonyQ

 

Thanks! It's in fact one of my favorite portraits. It works better in B&W than in colours.

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White-backed vulture feeding on a Thompson's gazelle, while the leopard is temporarily away (Serengeti).

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Lappet-faced vulture (Masai Mara)

 

 

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White-backed vulture feeding on a Thompson's gazelle, while the leopard is temporarily away (Serengeti).

 

~ @@Bush dog

 

Any closer or clearer and I'd have to cover my face with my hands for fear that my big nose or old eyes might be plucked!

Superlative images of exceptional quality!

It's so nice of you to share these with us on Safaritalk.

Tom K.

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Lappet-faced Vulture Aloft



Photographed at 9:40 am on 22 January, 2013 in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, using an EOS 1D X camera and an EF 200mm f/2.8L IS telephoto lens + EF 2x extender.



ISO 100, 1/400 sec., f/5.6, 400mm focal length, handheld Manual Exposure.



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We'd driven past a leopard kill hanging from a tree limb in an area near a small stream. Far overhead vultures were circling from three different species.



A couple of the vultures dropped to a lower altitude and passed directly over the safari van. This Lappet-faced Vulture was an impressive sight passing overhead.


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Turkey Vulture posing on a telephone pole:

 

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Turkey vultures drying their wings at Point Lobos this morning.

 

gallery_5741_1209_505857.jpg

 

gallery_5741_1209_361488.jpg

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A Welcome Sight



Photographed at 5:00 pm on 2 May, 2015 in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, using an EOS 1D X camera and an EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II super-telephoto lens.


ISO 3200, 1/8000 sec., f/8, 400mm focal length, handheld Manual exposure.


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Ever since reading a post by @@Safaridude about the decline in vulture populations, I've become ‘vulture conscious’ on safari. I never pass up the opportunity to observe and photograph vultures.


I'd wondered how Masai Mara's vultures were faring, so felt encouraged to see these vultures with others. There's a certain austere nobility about vultures which appeals to me.



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Cooling Off



Photographed at 5:41 pm on 6 February, 2016 in Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Kenya, using an EOS 1D X camera and an EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II super-telephoto lens.


ISO 200, 1/2000 sec., f/2.8, 400mm focal length, handheld Manual exposure.


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After a fruitless hour of meandering through back country we turned toward the setting sun in order to see what might be elsewhere. A small forest of stunted trees was so dense that our progress was impeded.


Atop one tree a lappet-faced vulture was perched, its wings widely spread as a cooling measure in the hot late afternoon air. As we drove past, it seemingly took very little notice of our passage below.

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I'd looked for this topic with no success, starting another which I've since deleted. (Thanks @@Tom Kellie ) Does anyone have photos of the stunning bearded vulture? (lammergeier)

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Palm nut vulture, Kosi Bay, KZN South Africa taken with borrowed Canon kit...

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