Paul Roux - Birds, Dinosaurs and a well deserved break

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7 years 10 months ago #14807 by Doug
Doug created the topic: Paul Roux - Birds, Dinosaurs and a well deserved break
Connor and I headed down to our cottage in Paul Roux in the eastern Free State for a 5 day 4 night rest.

We headed down mid morning on the 29th and took a casual drive down involving over 100 km of dirt road from Sasolburg down.
Although birding was not the order of the day, we did, upon heading into Paul Roux from Kaalaagte see a Secretarybird battling a large snake just 2 Km from Paul Roux itself.

Secretary bird with snake

The next morning after about a 14 hour sleep.. we stumbled out of the cottage to do some generalized VERY casual birding and take a few photographs. Although nothing blindingly special, the highlight would certainly have been a pair of Grey-winged Francolin.

Grey-winged Francolin

Some other birds also presented themselves for a photo opportunity.

Spike-heeled Lark


Southern Ant-eating Chat


Rufous-naped Lark

The 31st saw a truly strange day. I was repeatedly asked by the locals at the shops if I was coming to the new years eve street party but being a very small town I was in two minds. Anyway after asking around about the dinosaur footprints on a nearby farm we set out to try and find them. Well no luck but in the process first we came upon this European Roller with a broken bill....

Note the front half of the top part of the bill is missing

And then we stumbled upon an injured Amur Falcon....

Note the wing closest to the camera is hanging low

We took the Amur Falcon to Dr. Pieter Koorhof how looked at it and said that the bird would probably be ok and that it should be able to be released again into the wild.

That night the little town of Paul Roux seemed not so little and what looked like over 200 people joined in the new years celebrations that went on till 02h30 in the main road and the town hall.


The first saw a renewed effort to find the dinosaur footprints, this time finally with success.

Dilophosaurus wetherilli foot print


And with the hand of a 4 year old for a sense of scale

And finally whilst mapping out my first circular drive complete with birding points of interest, a few more pics.

Ground Woodpecker


Bokmakierie.

For those that want to see the dinosaur footprints, until now, internet info on how to get there has been at best... awful.
I did a separate trip report with full directions for those interested in visiting these amazing fossilized footprints.
http://www.simplybirding.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4861

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7 years 10 months ago #15382 by tachiro
tachiro replied the topic: Re: Paul Roux - Birds, Dinosaurs and a well deserved break
Hi Doug,
Great pictures, just wondering, what equipment do you use?
Especially like the larks, chat, francolin and bokmakierie photos.
What camera and lens did you use for these?
Regards,
Michael

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7 years 10 months ago #15395 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: Paul Roux - Birds, Dinosaurs and a well deserved break
Thanks Michael.

Currently I am using a Canon 40d and the 100-400 zoom which is what those bird shots were taken with. I also have and old FD 500mm F4.5 manual focus with an adapter as well as a 300 f2.8 manual focus. In fact I normally use the 500mm but had loaned it to Gordon for his Kruger trip.

I am about to add a Canon 1d mkii too my gear.

Cheers,
Doug.

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7 years 10 months ago #15401 by NickyO
NickyO replied the topic: Re: Paul Roux - Birds, Dinosaurs and a well deserved break
Great photo's there Doug!

Interesting to see the footprints too.

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7 years 10 months ago #15403 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: Paul Roux - Birds, Dinosaurs and a well deserved break

NickyO wrote: Great photo's there Doug!

Interesting to see the footprints too.


At 135 million years old it makes my 38 years feel kind of pathetic.....

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7 years 10 months ago #15466 by tachiro
tachiro replied the topic: Re: Paul Roux - Birds, Dinosaurs and a well deserved break
Thanks Doug,
I have recently aquired a 40d and was wondering about the best lens to get for bird photography.
The camera came with an EF-S 17-85 IS USM.
I also have a 350d and a sigma 28-300 DG macro.
Michael

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7 years 10 months ago #15470 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: Paul Roux - Birds, Dinosaurs and a well deserved break
Depends on budget?

The canon 100-400 is an awesome all round birding lense due to image quality and versatility. A second hand one is about 12k, new closer to 18.

If that is a bit heavy look at the sigma 500mm zooms. Quite reasonably priced. On the other end, the 300 f2.8 is the world standard canon birding lense but will probably set you back 40k and the ultimate birding lens is the 500mm f4 but be prepared to part with almost 80K.

I hope that covers a range for you from the affordable sigmas to the top stuff. Just a note though, avoid the 170-500 from sigma. Yes it is affordable but it is sigmas older technoloy and the newer 500mm zooms are far superior to the 170-500.

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7 years 10 months ago #15514 by tachiro
tachiro replied the topic: Re: Paul Roux - Birds, Dinosaurs and a well deserved break
Thanks Doug, much appreciated.
Michael

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