Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Birdies everywhere on the Golf Course!

If you feel that you are being watched whilst teeing off that might very well be the case and by no other than the Residence Merlin Falcon. He is silently watching over their first tee box and their chipping practice area. He blends in very well with the palm trees natural colours so it can be hard to get a glimpse of him at times. But once you know where to look then you will be able to see him every day. I usually go to see him with my camera in the afternoons around four pm. The temperature is nicer so I can sit and watch him or if he is away wait for him to come back because he always does. The thing with being a twitcher which I am by no means you need to be patient, and that is not really me but since he is so predictable its easy.
Merlin Falcon also known as Pigeon Hawk
If you are golfing you will first run into the Merlin Falcon then at hole 3 you will be greeted by an array of different kinds of birds. Such as the very bright coloured Shining Blue Kingfisher, Gray Heron, Snowy Egret, White Heron and Yellow Wagtail among many other kinds of birds that feed around the lake.
This bird i am not totally sure which kind it is but a kind of sand piper is my guess. But please tell me if you know.
It was a couple that was by the lake, they did not like it when I got to close. They never flew far only across the lake. So I kept on going after them ;-) So there we were going back and forth it was great practice for taking images of a flying bird which is not as easy as it might look. It definitively takes practice. I admire the photographers that takes wild life images for a living both their patience and their skill.
Yellow Wagtail.
Grey Heron.
Snowy Egret.
Shining Blue Kingfisher. 
You will also be able to see some of them again whilst playing the back nine. The Majestic Eagle is very well camouflaged by the Sinai Mountains. The Eagle is just like the Merlin Falcon very predictable once you have spotted him you know where to look the next time you pass by the same location. When I am out to photograph the birds on the golf course I usually start with the Eagle and end my photography session with the Falcon but that is just me. These are just to mention a few of all the birds that you will be able to see while enjoying your golf game in the sun in Egypt.
Cattle Egret.
The other day I got a phone call saying that there was a 1.5meter tall Great White pelican on the golf course. I rushed down with my photography gear in the hope that the bird would stay till I arrived so that I would be able to take a few snaps of it. S Murphy’s Law has it of course it was nowhere in sight when I arrived. I did speak to a few guests that had seen it and taken some images of it. They said it was just magnificent when if came flying in over them and I can imagine that since it was so big in size. Unfortunately I have still not seen it myself so therefore have no pictures to show you of it yet. Hopefully one day…
One thing that I discovered while taking photographs of wild birds is that my 70-200mm IS 2.8f is not enough I wish I had a 300mm or a 400mm lens. At least when trying to get a good photograph of the Eagle when he is sitting up on the mountain. With the birds on hole 3 and the Falcon you can get quite close to them before they fly off. You should have seen me one day when I literally followed the poor falcon all the way around the clubhouse with my camera. But he still comes back for more! Both the Falcon and the Eagle was here last year as well around July I believe it was if I remember correctly and they hung around the same places/trees so I guess they are very territorial. 

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