About 20 Club members entered a total of 50 images for the annual Bird Photography Competition on Members’ Fun Evening, Wednesday 22 June.
The images were judged in three categories by all attending the meeting – about 50 members. Included was a “fun” category, in line with the theme of the evening.
What stood out, was the high quality of the entries in general.
The eventual winner of the Best Bird Photo was Ronnie Hazell, with a Martial Eagle in full flight, taken in the Kgalagadi National Park about a week before the meeting. He used the highly regarded combination of a Canon EOS 7D with 100-400 mm lens.
The other two categories – Best Fun Photo and Catchiest Caption – were both won by John Bowman.
The winning Fun Photo, of two Kori Bustards and a Tawny Eagle, was taken in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, at about 06:00 in Nov 2015.
“On an early morning drive, close to our camp, Ngweshla, we came across two Kori Bustards engaged in mating performance,” John said.
“For 5 minutes the male paced around the female, followed by 5 minutes of ‘foreplay’, with the male pecking at the female’s neck.
“Then the male jumped on the female. The mating was over in about 30 seconds. The whole performance was being watched by an inquisitive Tawny Eagle. After the mating, the male chased the eagle away, and then strutted off.”
The Catchiest Caption, “Teaching children to cross the road can be quite feather-raising,” was for an image of a female Northern Black Korhaan and her chick, taken in the Kgalagadi at about 08:00 in February 2014.
“We were driving on the road south of Nossob Camp, when we came across this korhaan with two chicks. She was obviously anxious to get them across the road. But they had other ideas, and kept heading off in the wrong direction.
“Fortunately there was no other traffic. So we were able to watch them undisturbed until the whole family had gone safely across.”
The judging of the images was followed by boereword rolls and drinks. The results were announced at the end of the meeting, after three short, entertaining presentations.
Barbara Swart, recently retired, spoke about “Retirement gives you wings.” She illustrated her talk using images taken by Margie Ogston. (See separate report below.)
Peta McAdam, a book lover, talked about interesting discoveries made when she looked for books with a title that seemed to refer to birds.
Dave Shreeve told two tales of the interaction of people and pelicans in Australia.