birds …

Okay so I have never professed to be a photographic “Twitcher” before by any stretch of the imagination. I have been more drawn specifically to the Raptors (My Personal Gallery) that we have in Southern Africa. I recently read in a leading handbook specifically for this type of birding that I may indeed be a Raptorphile……..seriously not a word I am going to bandy about but each to there own . They are graceful and a powerful sight to behold.





One of my favourite Raptorphile Images – A Cape Vulture captured before landing at Giants Castle shot with my trusty Canon

I have taken a number of images along the coast near Knysna of  the african oyster catcher , pied king fisher and general sea birds. Along with the cool colours of the bushveld birds it has been nothing more than an incidental capture while on a wildlife photographic excursion.

After my visit to the Chobe , I can say that I have become a little more obsessed with capturing some quality images of the avian variety in general. Yes , I would even go as far as to say that it is more inline with a challenge set out by a certain Mr Trevor Hardaker as to getting quality images of this addictive genre of photography .

Looking into more detail there are a few interesting things I am learning .

  • Shutter speed for small birds should be at least 1/2000th of a second..THEY ARE FAST
  • Handholding long glass is not always practical. With this a proper gimbal or panning plate is a must. (Look below at example)




  • Patience and timing are big assets. Two qualities I am working on as birds will sit for ages and then fly off a perch without warning (well if you don’t have any idea what to look for)
  • Some birds will give tell tales signs and behaviour knowledge is important
  • Birds wading or feeding make for awesome portraits in golden light. They sometimes show ‘cute’ moments one must be ready to capture it at the right time
  • Waterbirds often feed from similar perches and land there again and again so you could get that shot with a little patience
  • Birds n flight………THEY RE FAST
  • Practice , Practice , Practice

Here are some of my recent Chobe favourites. So if you keen to get there ……..


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Hope you keep shooting and enjoy what you are doing and join me to capture Africa’s beauty .

Peace and Light


Andrew Aveley