South Africa in December 2014

Black-shouldered kite is one of the most sought-after birds on the European continent, only present in a small population in Spain and Eastern Portugal. In parts of South Africa it is the most frequently viewed raptor, along with the steppe buzzard. This image was shot in the early evening. EOS 7D mkii with 600mm, f4.5, ISO 100, 1/2500sec. Underexposed 0.7 of a stop.

Black-shouldered kite is one of the most sought-after birds on the European continent, only present in a small population in Spain and Eastern Portugal. In parts of South Africa it is the most frequently viewed raptor, along with the steppe buzzard. This image was shot in the early evening. EOS 7D mkii with 600mm, f4.5, ISO 100, 1/2500sec. Underexposed 0.7 of a stop.

I travelled to South Africa for the Porterville paragliding Open in December, and got a few chances to test my “new” Canon EF 600mm L f4 IS USM and the new EOS 7D mkii as well. As usual, South Africa is a great birding destination, with the river lagoon at Hermanus, the Cape Gannets at Lambert’s Bay and the general shorebirds at Scarborough (Cape Peninsula) being this trips’ highlights.

The lens is nothing short of amazing – I love everything about it except the weight… The camera is good in many respects, not least the AF and the light metering, and obviously the speed. The latter leads to very many frames being taken, surely a good thing but a pain in the arse when sorting through the images later. I tried shooting with the TC 1.4x mkii on the 600mm; lots of reach, but pretty poor IQ so far (before micro adjust).

The following images are essentially snapshots from the trip, since no real serious bird photography sessions were had. But some are pretty nice all the same. Remember to click on one of the images to call up the full-size gallery, and consider hitting f11 to get the full-screen experience.

 

 

  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Taken: 12 December, 2014
  • Exposure bias: -2/3EV
  • Focal length: 600mm
  • ISO: 160
  • Shutter speed: 1/1000s

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