This gallery showcases the best images from the BIRDS OF AFRICA category in the Nature’s Best Photography Africa competition 2015.
All images copyright protected.
WINNER: Lanner falcons fighting for a sandgrouse, by Christophe Jobic Photograph taken: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana “I had been photographing a pride of lions in the light of the rising sun at a waterhole in Mpayathutlwa. As soon as the cats left, hundreds of sandgrouse flew in amid much noise to drink. I did not even see the first Lanner falcon catch his daily meal but caught sight of it for the first time as it was killing its prey on the ground. But when I saw his fellow raptor getting closer and bearing down to him, I knew something was about to happen. So I was ready with my 840mm lens, follow-focus setting and high-speed shutter. Indeed, the fight was as rough as it was brief and the story ended like a traditional homily: the evil agent had been routed and the symbol of good got the meal for himself.” Technical details: Canon EOS-1DX / 840mm / ISO 400 / f5.6 / 1/4000s / E 0.0
FIRST RUNNER-UP: Drinking on the wing, by Johann Grobbelaar “While on a morning drive in Etosha National Park, Namibia, I came across a fresh rain puddle in the road where barn swallows were coming to drink on the wing. This was the opportunity for my dream shot. I noticed that the direction of the wind was such that I could park my vehicle in the road with the wind blowing away from me and the rising sun behind me – perfect, since the birds approached into the wind. Since the puddle was relatively small, my chances were better than on a dam or river, but the birds are extremely fast, but after two hours I got better at anticipating when they would come down and I finally got the shot I was after.”
SECOND RUNNER-UP: Goshawk challenge, by Willem Kruger “Late one morning in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, I came across an adult Southern pale chanting goshawk feeding on what was probably a gecko or large insect. Soon a juvenile bird swooped down to challenge the adult for its catch. Three times the juvenile attempted to get hold of what I could now see was a large moth. The adult resisted, however, and eventually the juvenile gave up.” Technical info: Nikon D4 / 600mm / ISO 1600 / f11 / 1/5000 / E -0.7
HIGHLY HONOURED: Bathing carmine, by Brendon Cremer Taken: Zambezi River, Namibia Technical info: Nikon D3S / 850mm / ISO 1400 / f7.1 / 1/3200s / E -0.3
HIGHLY HONOURED: Jacana father with chick, by Trix Jonker Taken: Chobe River, Botswana Technical info: Nikon D4 / 850mm / ISO 800 / f11 / 1/2000s / E -1.3
HONOURED: Sandgrouse escape, by Johan Botha Taken: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Technical info: Nikon D4 / 600mm / ISO 320 / f4 / 1/5000s / E -0.3
HONOURED: Kingfisher with catch, by Johan Kloppers Taken: Kruger National Park, South Africa Technical info: Canon EOS 7D / 500mm / ISO 400 / f7.1 / 1/2000s / E -1.0