Monday, March 2, 2015

C4 Photo Hide Update

What a start to the photographic season in the C4 Hides at Mashatu Game Reserve. After scoping out a colony of White-fronted Bee-eaters hard at work digging away at the banks of the Majalie River, we rushed back to camp to collect the mobile hide. We gave the birds 2 days to get used to the big green ‘box-like’ object above their colony before setting off before sunrise to capture these beautifully coloured creatures in first light.
Unfortunately the morning was overcast, but this ended up working in our favour as we had more time to spend with the birds before the harsh light of the day kicked in. After 10mins of not one bird in sight and a slightly dampened faith that the colony had taken to us, the first bird arrived. Thereafter the performance continued until our batteries where dead and memory card where full up.
Being co-operative breeders the juvenile birds from the first clutches of the season, where hard at work digging holes and collecting food for their families within the colony. The juveniles make for perfect subjects as they are almost oblivious to the photographers and the tent, allowing the photographers to get close to them.
During the course of our action packed morning we had multiple visitors including, Laughing Dove, Meve’s Starling, African Hoopoe and Carmine Bee-eaters, not to forget mating White-fronted Bee-eaters!

White-fronted Bee-eater

Juvenile Fork Tale Drongo

Juvenile African Hoopoe

Meve's Starling

Mating pair

Carmine Bee-eater

Text and Photographs By: Ruth Nussbaum

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