An Owl in the Kgalagadi

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment

Nikon D3s, 600mm, 1/640, f/4, ISO 320

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

The Kgalagadi has got to be one of the most popular wildlife photography destinations in Southern Africa.  And with good reason.

The topography and unique range of subjects combine with a special X-factor to create not only fantastic photographic opportunities but also a very special nature experience.  There is something very special about that place!

On a visit in October 2011 we were making our way back north to Mata Mata after a morning out in the field.  We passed by a tree where a family of Spotted Eagle Owls had a nest and, like on all the other mornings, we stopped to look for the three fluffy youngsters.

Up until this point the youngsters had provided us with some great photographic opportunities especially during the golden hours when the rim lighting through their feathers jumped out at you.  Beautiful stuff.

On this particular visit to their nest the youngsters were all out of sight but we did get visual of one of the adults close to the base of the tree.

The light was harsh and the composition quite tricky but those golden eyes just demanded to be photographed.

I spot metered off of the owl’s face and composed the frame to try and show the large bird hiding in the peeling bark of the tree.

Yes, the small piece of background might be blown out but I don’t think it matters.  It does not detract from the image and, at the end of the day, this is what I saw.

Put your wildlife photography  gear away after 10:00 in the morning?  Not in the Kgalagadi!

Until next time!

Gerry van der Walt

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Comments 0

  1. Morkel Erasmus

    Love it Gerry! We spent time with the same youngsters in November…they were really enjoying the attention…Sadly by February 2012 they had fledged and the tree was quiet and deserted once more.

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