2 June 2013

A morning at Marievale

The Marievale Bird Sanctuary is situated in the southern half of the Blesbokspruit RAMSAR site, an area that is also a designated Important Bird Area (IBA SA021) in South Africa. The sanctuary is about 10 km2 in size and comprises numerous, large, shallow water bodies .  The sanctuary hosts the largest variety of bird species in the Gauteng Province and, to date, over 280 species of birds and mammals have been recorded to cohabit the sanctuary.

Marievale is a very popular spot for birders and bird photographers alike and there are quite a few bird hides which afford one the opportunity of some excellent photography. My favourite and obviously the favourite of many is the Hadeda hide. Generally speaking if you are not there by sunrise, the hides are full with guys and their cameras and those bazooka white lenses...

I don't get the opportunity to visit too often but when I do, I am seldom disappointed. I thought I would share some images from my last visit. This was not too long ago before the swallows had left and they rewarded me with some lovely shots.

Shot with the Sony A77 and 500mmF4.
The Night Heron

Squacco Heron in the distance taking flight

Squacco had come closer and I caught him preening...
A Whitethroated Swallow still covered with early morning dew coming in to land

Another landing shot

Breakfast time

Letting the world know that he was here

Food please!!!!

I noticed some movement in the shallow water.. here was this guy jumping across the slime.

Didn't know these guys ate Dragon Flies!

and just to make my day... The Malachite Kingfisher showed for a few seconds.

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