Tag Archives: Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS USM

Buntkopf-Felshüpfer – ein Picathartes – in Kamerun

Buntkopf-FelshüpferDer Nachmittag ist ganz dem Buntkopf-Felshüpfer (Picathartes oreas), der im englischen Grey-necked Rockfowl oder Grey-necked Picathartes genannt wird, gewidmet. Zuerst war die Frage der richtigen Ausrüstung zu klären. Es war klar, daß ich das Canon EF 400 / 1:4,0 L Do IS USM mitnehmen wollte. Dazu dann die Canon EOS-1D X, die Gewähr für rauscharme, hochauflösende Bilder bei akzeptablen Belichtungszeiten in den zu erwarteten dämmrigen Verhältnissen der Cave bieten sollte. Die Canon EOS 5DS R blieb am Camp, da ihre ASA-Empfindlichkeiten nur eingeschränkt zu nutzen sind. Zusätzlich kam erstmals auf diesem Trip das Canon EF 85mm 1:1,8 USM Tele Objektiv zum Zug. Das Canon 85 mm – f/1.8 USM sollte als ein vielseitiges, kleines Tele die notwendige Lichtstärke – im Fall des Falles – mitbringen. Dazu noch ein leichtes Stativ von Gitzo – das ich besser im Zelt gelassen hätte.

Dann Aufbruch: Wir erwarteten eine mühsame Wanderung für Stunden durch tropische Hitze in diesem Tieflandregenwald-Nationalpark. Manche Leute sagen, dass sich der Vogel erst nach Continue reading Buntkopf-Felshüpfer – ein Picathartes – in Kamerun

Little Greenbuls fly catching insects in the rain

Having been in Campo Ma’an National Park in southern Cameroon already the 2nd day, we experienced a heavy thunderstorm with endless rain. Probably not the first front of the rainy season brought heavy rain and thunder – and myriads of flying insects.

Just outside our basic camp, birds made sallies into the air, to catch insects that started flying in the rain. It is amazing what the combination of the Canon 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM and the EOS 1DX can perform in the rainy weather. Then the question quickly arose: “What bird do the photos show?” immediately I supposed a Greenbul or Bulbul. A Common or Garden Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus) show the great flight recordings certainly not. I recalled in my notes, that besides swallows and swifts, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher (Erythrocercus mccallii) and some Sunbirds had also participated in the flycatching orgy during the rain on the clearing that day.

After consultation with an ornithologist specialized in African Continue reading Little Greenbuls fly catching insects in the rain

Grey-necked Picathartes in Campo-Ma’an National Park/ Cameroon

Buntkopf-FelshüpferNow the afternoon was for the Grey-necked Picathartes or Grey-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes oreas). We expected an arduous trip of hiking for hours through tropical heat in the National Park. Some people say, that the bird only appears after rain storms. If this would be true, we would be unlucky, as on our first day in the park’s interior, it did not rain. We had only one more day in the park – but rain seemed likely enough for the next days. I cannot confirm, that the particiapants of the trip showed sights of anxiety and gloom. But never you know. On trips prior to ours the bird had not been seen.

But already with the hike we were lucky. We had a short, pleasant and fairly easy hike with lots of good birds to at “cave” formed of several enormous boulders where the birds build mud nests on the sides of the rocks during the breeding season. We hoped that no rain was needed as our guides told us, that this species checks on its breeding site every afternoon or during dusk. We arrived early in the hope that the birds would appear in some natural light. Maybe earlier than normally to expect. One of the local guides tried to show as the nest a bit too much. We almost shouted through the forest to keep him from removing the nest. The Continue reading Grey-necked Picathartes in Campo-Ma’an National Park/ Cameroon