About the Author

James Souchon

Field Guide

James started his guiding career at the world-renowned Phinda Game Reserve, spending four years learning about and showing guests the wonder of the incredibly rich biodiversity that the Maputaland area of South Africa has to offer. Having always wanted to guide in the ...

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17 Comments

on Photography Challenge: Birds

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Amazing images James. Love the black and white photos. It is true that that it is difficult to photograph birds. Everytime you think you’ve got the right position the bird fly away. I agree that if you just shoot you get amazing pics.

Michael & Terri Klauber
Digital Tracker

Beautiful images James! Love seeing the reflections in the water!

Wendy Macnicol
Senior Digital Ranger

We agree. Birds are VERY difficult for us to photo! So we don’t often even try. HOWEVER – we have taken a lot of these pics as Screensavers, James! Lovely pics! Wendy M

Bev Maile
Explorer

Excellent photo’s. Cannot identify that small bird, so look forward to finding out what it is tomorrow.

Karin Maclarty
Explorer

This is from Ian.
Hi James. My guess as to the identity of your mystery bird is a Green-winged Pytilia, juvenile and probably a female. My view is based mainly on the colour of lower mandible and the reddish brown eye, together with the reddish/ginger tail and general olive wash in many parts. I would be interested to know the Londo’s pro’s official view. Ian MacLarty

Denise Vouri
Master Tracker

Shooting birds – ahh, such a challenge when you’ve focused, set iso and shutter speed and then the bird flies away or moves to another location. Owning a 70-200,f2.8 lens often isn’t enough. I’m still waiting to shoot that perfectly clear image – perhaps when I’m there in November for my fist visit to your beautiful property. See you then!?

I can see why there was a lot of debate amongst the rangers, is it a ‘scaly throated honeyguide’?

Darlene Knott
Senior Digital Ranger

Beautiful shots! I agree with you that birds are hard to photograph! But it is so rewarding when you capture a really good one amongst the hundreds you take! 😂 I have no clue what your unidentified bird is, so I will look forward to tomorrow’s post!

Wendy Hawkins
Senior Digital Ranger

I love your in flight pictures of the Tawny eagle – it so graceful. All the pictures are beautiful, especially the one of the Blur Waxbills 😁 is the mystery bird a female Violet eared Waxbill? Thanks James

Wendy Hawkins
Senior Digital Ranger

Female Orange winged pytilia?

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Very close Wendy…

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Amazing photos! Is the bird in the image below the waxbills a melba finch?

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Digital Tracker

The knowing lament of photographers is the difficulty in shooting birds along with the number of discarded images at day’s end. (I’m smiling at the latter) But one becomes excited when a good capture occurs. You, James, should be happy since all these images are outstanding. Good work!

Phil Schultz
Explorer

Alright, I’m going to be that guy. I have been fortunate enough to visit Londolozi twice in recent years as well as various camps across Botswana’s Okavango Delta. I’ve traveled the world and for me an African Safari is simply the best wildlife experience on this planet. I often see posts like these asking me to pass on the lions and leopards for the little things and I get it. If I was a guide with a daily front seat to the amazing on a daily basis, I too would seek out the birds and the plants and the arachnids which offer fresh new experiences. But I live in America. For me, a trip to Africa comes at great expense l8miting the time I can experience her wonders. In three African safaris in my lifetime I’ve only been fortunate to spend six weeks of my life on safari and when I’m there I’m unapologetically pursuing big game while on game drives. With that said, I do make time for the birds and the bees and the monkeys and the Nyala back at camp while the other guests snooze through the hot mid-day. At Londolozi and other camps, I spend the mid-days walking up and down the trails connecting camps seeking photographs of hornbills, sun birds on the aloes around Londolozi’s camps, vervet monkeys, leopard tortoises, lizards, and the daily nyala herds. It’s at these moments that I completely understand posts such as this one. But still, the days of my lifetime spent in Africa can be counted in two digits and when I’m there, I’d be lying if I didn’t say the Big 5 are my ultimate goal. Perhaps I need a few more visits until I get my fill and graduate to the citadel of the birds and the bees. Til’ then.

Frank De La Rey
Explorer

James I have been following the Londolozi blog for around 7 months now and wondered when there would be a blog that just focused on the beautiful variety of birdlife in the Sabi Sands. Great photos and hopefully we will see more blogs on birding

Damiano Carli
Explorer

Mystery bird could be a Juv. Bronze Mannikin???

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Close but no cigar Damiano. The answer is in The Week in Pictures (the post from the following day)…

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