Turtle dove carrying nesting material in Abu Simbel

From its nest in an African Mahagony (Thaya senegallensis) a European Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia turtur) flies over our heads to an acacia tree. There she obviously finds dead small, fine twigs and stalks. When it flies back practically the same way for the third time – this time with a fine twig in its beak – I decide to photograph it with a Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS II USM lens on a Canon EOS R 5. This requires a powerful autofocus, a reliable photo object, short exposure times and a sure eye for the photographic moment. I observe the behavior of the Turtle-Dove for a while. When the pigeon first gets an overview from an acacia tree, it hops behind a clay wall and is no longer to be seen. Then when the European Turtle-Dove sticks her head over the edge; until then, always with a twig in its beak, then it’s high time to get ready for take-off. Then it’s time to press the shutter button and let the autofocus do the rest in servo mode. All this was given on this beautiful day with relatively acceptable temperatures.

A few times the European Turtle-Dove flies back to its nest on exactly this route from where it was found. The beautiful picture of the blog is proof of how it works. First I take pictures with 1/2500 sec. with aperture priority. But I quickly change down to 1/3200 sec. In order to get the maximum speed out of the series of shots, I set the electronic shutter. The automatic sensitivity setting (ISO-Auto) makes it possible. The automatic is set to ISO 640. Still acceptable in terms of noise. To top it all off, I take the last shots in manual exposure mode. I set the aperture to 8, the time to 1/2500 and expose a little tighter with the manually set ISO 2000. You can still correct that quite well in Adobe Photoshop.

The European Turtle-Dove was the most common of the wild pigeons in Abu Simbel, along with the Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis), where we spent a few days in a nubian-style lodge. Migration of European Turtle-Dove is particularly impressive. The European Turtle-Dove seems to prefer small flocks – sometimes with only 3-4 individuals. But Eurasian Collared-Doves (Streptopelia decaocto) also seemed to be heading north in the same direction. Although the population of the Turtle-Dove has decreased dramatically in Egypt, it was also quite widespread as a breeding bird in Abu Simbel. It is therefore not possible to clearly distinguish between the European Turtle-Doves that are migrating and those that are actually breeding on site. A small pigeon deserves a mention, although we didn’t see it once during the entire stay. The beautiful Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis) is also a bird that appreciates desert, hot areas.

A successful early noon at the southern end of Egypt and therefore the western Palearctic.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic.  Trips to remote places like this one to capture images not only of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. The nice image of the blog is only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give bird-lens.com a message, if bird-lens.com could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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