Monday 7 April 2014

Butterfly Hunter

When you are out on safari, one of the biggest pitfalls you can find yourself in is only chasing the "big" sightings and the iconic species, and moving past so many amazing moments of natural history that play themselves out every day in the bush. During the recent photographic safari I led to the Chobe river in Botswana for Wild Eye, we sat watching a herd of elephants drinking from the river one afternoon, when suddenly we noticed a commotion around the nose of the small photographic boat we were sitting in. The boat was banked just on the riverbank, and there were yellow butterflies fluttering all about. A couple of birds had taken an interest in these butterflies, and started hunting them down as they realised this was a quick and easy chance for a snack.

The Whitecrowned Plovers (or Whitecrowned Lapwings, as you please) were particularly entertaining - often striking a pose akin to those of hunting dogs (think Pointers, Golden Retrievers) as they assumed the pre-strike position. You can see it in the photo below...

Nikon D800
Nikkor 500mm f4 VR-II
f5.6  |  1/1250 SS  |  ISO-140

click on the photo to display at optimal sharpness and resolution

Always keep your eyes open for the opportunities delivered by the smaller critters in the field!

Morkel Erasmus

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