Tdgraves

Tdgraves big(gest?) year 2017

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With the increasing popularity of this topic and the "beginners luck" that all of the new 2016 participants have had, I thought I should be the first to start this year, in the hope that it increases my total. :unsure:

 

Here are a couple before we leave for the Kruger next week, where hopefully we should get at least 100 (???!!??) :rolleyes:

 

Following on from the suggestion from @@JohnR in http://safaritalk.net/topic/16171-tdgraves-big-year-2016/page-21 I took out the "optimum" combination of Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii and 1.4x extender mark iii a couple of days ago when the sun was out. There weren't that many birds around, but he was right, this combination is much better than even then new lens on the 5D mark iii

 

So here are my first couple of birds of 2017

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This first one is a bit of an EBC, but as it was my nemesis for 2016, I am happy for it to be bird #1 of 2017 (and am unlikely to get a better shot in 363 days....)

 

Fen Drayton lakes, UK, 2/1/17

 

Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, 1.4x extender mark iii, ISO 1000, f8, 1/2500

 

gallery_37950_1622_1843705.jpg

 

1) Bullfinch

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and a festive one

 

Fen Drayton lakes, UK, 2/1/17

Canon 5D mark iii, 100-400, ISO 800, f7.1, 1/500

gallery_37950_1622_7055562.jpg

2) Robin

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Fen Drayton lakes, UK, 2/1/17

Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, 1.4x extender mark iii, ISO 1000, f8, 1/640


gallery_37950_1622_4897269.jpg

Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, 1.4x extender mark iii, ISO 1000, f8, 1/3200

gallery_37950_1622_1839487.jpg

Both of the above courtesy of the OH

Canon 5D mark iii, 100-400, ISO 800, f7.1, 1/2500

gallery_37950_1622_911787.jpg

gallery_37950_1622_5899134.jpg

3) Eurasian coot

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And a really good test, from the car as we were leaving, at the same sort of distance as on safari



Fen Drayton lakes, UK, 2/1/17



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, 1.4x extender mark iii, ISO 1000, f8, 1/2500



gallery_37950_1622_253440.jpg



4) Little egret


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Congratulations on starting the 2017 Big Year! I symphatise about the Bullfinches, never managed to get a decent photo. Have a great time in Kruger!

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@@Tdgraves congratulations on your flying start to the 2017 Big Year!

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@@Tdgraves

 

As a current 2016 leader and a holder of the title The Begginner's Luck of 2016, I was planning to open the 2017 season ... But for that one has to work and not to be lazy under the Caribbean palms :))

 

Kruger will deliver; to get over 400 a couple of more destinations will be needed. Traveling and birding ... What a joy!

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Crickey! Apart from for down-loading photos from last year, i haven't even touched a camera yet this year!

 

Better get my finger out!

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@@xelas I beat you to it! @@Peter Connan I had an incentive - to test the extender...

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@@Tdgraves

Great to see you off and running with the new combination. I look forward to following this over the year!

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Posted (edited)

So before we went to the Kruger we met @@Peter Connan and he graciously drove us around Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve for the day. My aim was for flying widowbirds, but any bird will do! I suspect that Peter thought Marievale would be a better destination, but the geography of Rietvlei, being off of the N1 and en route to our next destination, alongside our reluctance to wake our hosts at 4am to get to Marievale on time for sunrise, meant that Rietvlei it was. Having never been to either, I didn't care. The weather however was an issue. It had rained overnight, which is not unusual in Joburg in the summer, but it was decidedly overcast as we drove north and we were not sure that we would get any photos at all. Unfortunately, the cloud did not burn off, but neither did it rain, so all was not lost. The reserve showed evidence of the recent rains, both with deep clay puddles still being full of water, but also with a profusion of flowers and grasses. This was very pretty, but the long grass plays havoc with focusing!!

 

I will start with the new species.....

Edited by Tdgraves
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Posted (edited)

Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, 14/1/17

 

Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 1000, f7.1, 1/1250

 

gallery_37950_1622_2097095.jpg

 

Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 500, f7.1, 1/640

 

gallery_37950_1622_3406352.jpg

 

Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 500, f7.1, 1/400

female

 

gallery_37950_1622_7618707.jpg

 

5) Cape longclaw

Edited by Tdgraves
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Posted (edited)

Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, 14/1/17

Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, 1.4x extender mark iii, ISO 640, f8, 1/1600

gallery_37950_1622_5104164.jpg

 

Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 500, f7.1, 1/1000

 

gallery_37950_1622_6687439.jpg

 

6) Levaillant's cisticola

Edited by Tdgraves
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Posted (edited)

Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, 14/1/17



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, 1.4x extender mark iii, ISO 3200, f8, 1/500 EV+1/3



gallery_37950_1622_4382512.jpg



7) Thick-billed weaver


Edited by Tdgraves
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Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, 14/1/17

Canon 7D, 100-400 mark i, ISO 800, f8.0, 1/1250

 

gallery_37950_1622_5323424.jpg

 

8) Yellow-billed duck (courtesy of the OH who was on the correct side of the vehicle)

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And now on to the main event. I am classing these as new, as I have never photographed widowbirds before and seeing them from the car on a motorway has never lead to a positive ID!



Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, 14/1/17



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, 1.4x extender mark iii, ISO 640, f8, 1/1250



gallery_37950_1622_1313561.jpg



And because we didn't get many chances with this one, a couple from the OH



Canon 7D, 100-400 mark i, ISO 800, f8.0, 1/1250 EV +2/3



gallery_37950_1622_3879806.jpg



Canon 7D, 100-400 mark i, ISO 500, f7.1, 1/1000



gallery_37950_1622_7139773.jpg



9) Red-collared widowbird


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Although this type was more abundant, whenever we would find one, it would fly off further away from the road. When one was compliant, flying backwards and forwards to the same perch, it was in front of electricity pylons and its' perch was an electrical box :(



Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, 14/1/17



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 1000, f7.1, 1/2000 EV+1/3



gallery_37950_1622_3791009.jpg



gallery_37950_1622_5998375.jpg



My first flying attempt



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 640, f6.3, 1/6400



gallery_37950_1622_2325116.jpg



And some closer ones later in the day



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 1250, f6.3, 1/2000



gallery_37950_1622_7932883.jpg



gallery_37950_1622_8097564.jpg



and one from the OH to show the flowers



Canon 7D mark i, 100-400 mark i, ISO 1000, f7.1, 1/1600



gallery_37950_1622_7584848.jpg



10) Long-tailed widowbird



So they gave us lots of chances, it just would have been much easier with a bit of sunshine - maybe next time?? ;)


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Isn't Peter such a great host?! And your widow birds are fabulous also.

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Well, despite the trying conditions you got some good shots!

 

Once again, thank you for the opportunity.

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@@Tdgraves

Wonderful Widowbirds!

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Posted (edited)

And now onto the not so new birds



Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, 14/1/17



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 800, f8, 1/1250



gallery_37950_1622_2926683.jpg



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 800, f7,1, 1/800



gallery_37950_1622_1324244.jpg



11) African stonechat - a really good place to see them, they were everywhere!


Edited by Tdgraves
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Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, 14/1/17



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1000



gallery_37950_1622_4904122.jpg



12) Crowned lapwing


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And another nemesis from 2016, seen en route to KTP, but unable to stop on the road to capture them....



Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, 14/1/17



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 800, f7.1, 1/640



gallery_37950_1622_4281901.jpg



With it's best angry birds impression



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 800, f7.1, 1/500



gallery_37950_1622_5924405.jpg



13) Pied starling


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Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, 14/1/17



Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii, ISO 800, f7.1, 1/1000



gallery_37950_1622_4007234.jpg



14) Pied crow


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