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The sour bug!

The sour bug!
Photo Information
Copyright: Japie Venter (japie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-12-20
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Sigma 170-500mm APO, Digital ISO 200, Skylight
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Predaceous birds - Aves predadoras, AnYtHiNg ExTrEmElY hUmOrOuS, Birds of Southern Africa, 40 points or more - 40 puntos o más [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-12-24 5:11
Viewed: 6304
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I was busy packing my trailer at the end of my camping trip to the Pilaansberg nature reserve when this Crimson Breasted Boubou decided to drop in for lunch. He grabbed an insect from the base of a tree, flew up the nearest branch where he bashed the living daylights out of this insect. By this time I had my camera. He then proceeded to swallow this insect (with his #$%^& backside towards me). When he turned towards be again he had already swallowed the bug, but he had an awkward expression. He then ruffled his feathers and my first thoughts were that it must have been a very sour bug!

SHRIKES in general- Raptors in miniature

Throughout Africa, shrikes of numerous species enliven woodlands, forests, gardens and scrublands with their ringing calls and often bold presence. Shrikes fall into several groups or sub-families. They are all primarily insectivorous, but some of the larger species frequently prey upon the nestlings of other birds, lizards and other small reptiles. All have robust beaks, often with a fierce hook at its tip. Most appear to pair for life, and the characteristic duet calls are a way of keeping in touch and maintaining the 'marital' bond.

The perch hunters

Several varieties of shrike typically perch in conspicuous places and pounce upon unwitting prey. The Common Fiscal Shrike is well known throughout most of South and Eastern Africa where it occurs in farmlands, grasslands and suburban gardens. Also known as the 'Jacky Hangman', the fiscal is in the habit of impaling its prey on barbed-wire fences or acacia thorns. Intruders are kept from this storage 'larder' by hoarse calls and aerial attacks. Similarly conspicuous in woodlands and savannah is the Long-tailed (Magpie) Shrike, which lives in small groups that keep in touch with plaintive, whistled calls. The Red-backed Shrike breeds in Southern Europe (and formerly England) but migrates to Africa between September and March, when large numbers can be seen perched on fence posts and the outer branches of bushveld trees.

If you've got it, flaunt it

Two of the most eye-catching shrikes are the brilliant Crimson-breasted Shrike of dry acacia scrublands and Kalahari Desert, and the very vocal Bokmakierie of highveld grassland, Karoo and Cape fynbos. The former looks positively dazzling as it moves among the dry branches and white thorns, and frequently hops on the ground, in search of caterpillars and beetles.

The camera settings:

Program Setting: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 286mm
F Stop: F/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec
ISO: 200
Tripod: No
Flash: Off Camera TTL.
Reflective Panel: No
Cable release: No
White Balance: Sunshine

May all of you have a wonderful, merry and safe Xmas this year. This is the time to be joyful, happy and also for forgiving.

Kind Regards

Japie and Family

willie, Crypton, red45, Lesley, IdoTT, mumek, dsidwell, Luc, coasties, Callie, Robbrown, Janice, Lourens, pompey, ljsugarnspice, Leace, deud has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To willie: Geseende kersfeesjapie 2 12-25 08:07
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Japie. Beautiful images and presentation of both. Excellent Work.
Have a blessed Christmas, I'm off to Hippo Pools for the next 4 days. Hope to get some shots but alas, it has been raining cats and dogs since last night with no prospects of stopping.

superbe oiseau Japie !
le rouge est d'une rare intensité. de plus le rouge sur noir rend vraiment bien.
good work.
thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2004-12-24 6:39]

Pros: great note and story, stunning quality, beautiful bird
Cons: none

Thanks for posting and greetings Japie! Merry Christmas to you and your Family!

Great picture Japie.
Very beautiful bird, good details and very nice composition.
Excellent note like always.
Great work.

WOW...what a bird and what a gorgeous image of this stunner! And even a little humor. Excellent job and note, Japie.

  • Great 
  • IdoTT Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 210 W: 19 N: 86] (482)
  • [2004-12-24 7:43]

Outstanding photo!
The colors are great and the comp is good!
It's just that the littel window in the corner is a bit distracting my eye, you sould have post as a diffrant photo!


  • Great 
  • mumek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 104 W: 0 N: 180] (853)
  • [2004-12-24 8:51]

Super poster of a beautiful bird.Very nice composition, colors and details.Very interesting note.Thanks for posting

There is such remarkable color here, Japie. Striking and vibrant, but with plenty of details. I also appreciate your before and after points of view. Very nice!

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2004-12-24 16:01]

Very interesting story, Japie. I like those preambles (with his #$%^& backside towards me)very educational :-) .
A great post: pictures and note.

Japie, wonderful images nicely presented. Love the colour of this bird. You are so lucky to have such a selection of wonderful coloured birds to photograph. Great sharpness to both images. TSF.

Have a very Merry Christmas and safe New Year to you and your family.

Beautiful composition and colors

Ek dink ek sal jou kry om die notas te skrywe in die toekoms!
Very nice capture, the texture on the plumage is spot-on, especially on the reds.
And welcome to the real world of frustration, it always happens that thet turn the tail on you!
En weereens - Lekker Kersdag vir julle!

Very nice Japie both are very good images , the note are particuly informative.
Happy Christmas to you too

  • Great 
  • Hisam Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 18 W: 1 N: 22] (215)
  • [2004-12-25 23:58]

Excellent picture, very sharp color. Merry Christmas

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2004-12-26 5:12]

Hi Japie, what a beautiful bird. Love the story too. You captured him very well in both shots. His colours are perfect. TFS, Janice

Uitstekende foto, Japie!! Pragtige kleure en detail. Mooi werk.

Very nice photo.The color is just brilliant.Have a Merry Christmas and keep up the good work.

Composition: ****
Sharpness: ****
Color: ****
DOF: ****
POV: ****
Note: ****

A master peace, well done.

haha!well, that's funny!very nicely done,good combination of the two shots and nice titles.
all two very good colours and details, compo is good too.beautiful bird!
groetjes kirsten

oh yeah, a little late but nice christmas and 'photogenetic' new year ;o)

Another rpper species for us to enjoy. You have some colourful aves in SA and this is no exception. Wonderfully captured as always by your good self.

  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2004-12-28 14:08]

Wonderful picture and story Japie. This is one beautiful bird.
Great colours and composition, well spotted!

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-01-05 1:41]

amazing shot. with excellent note. thanx.

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