Everyone likes a sexy redhead….so we are pleased to be able to post some super sexy redhead shots which should turn the heads of every birdwatcher.
We have been wanting to photograph Chestnut-Headed Bee Eaters for a few years, but for some reason we never managed to turn up at the right place at the right time. So this year we set our mind on making sure that when they turned up at the Juru motocross track near Penang we would make an effort to get up there. Lucky for us they were there and posing. So enjoy checking out the birds!
Chestnut-Headed Bee Eaters like all Bee eaters are colorful birds. But let’s face it; the colors on this species are really exceptional. Nature certainly has a wonderful way with stuff like this.
When it’s your day, it’s your day. We knew it was going to be a great day when the first shot of the day was the photo below. After this they just kept coming and by the time we left we had a card full of beauties. Like they always say, the first hour after sunrise is the golden hour and yesterday’s light was perfect.
One of the great challenges photographing Bee Eaters is to catch them in a perfect photographical position with their prey in their mouths. As they say, if you snooze, you lose. If you are not organized you miss the chance, and you seldom get a second chance.
In our case we had hardly positioned ourselves near where the birds were perched when one zoomed in with a nice fat dragon fly in its mouth. Being not ready, we missed the perfect pose on an eye level branch in perfect light and for the remainder of the time we were with the birds had to settle for second best poses high up in the branches.
To be honest we don’t know too much about the breeding habits and season of the birds, but watching them we got the distinct feeling that there was some courtship going on. Birds would pair up and from time to time exchange food. But Sod’s Law, the action was always too high up and too spoiled by sticks in the way for that perfect shot. Anyway, that’s the way it is sometimes, and all said, I think the results of the pairs, whist not perfect are still reasonably acceptable.
Watching the pairs together was quite interesting especially when one or the other would catch a fat dragonfly. On one occasion one of the birds actually spat out the dragonfly before diving off and catching it again. I managed just one frame of this event, but it was something interesting to see and we wonder whether the dragonfly may not have been dead and has some defense mechanism which made the bird spit it out.
The prize for me were the birds who decided to fluff their feathers and stretch their wings for the lens. There were some grand poses which made getting up at 4.00 am and driving three and a half hour’s up near Penang all the more worthwhile.
As a close I’d like to dedicate this post to the late Choo Tse Chein, one of Malaysia’s great nature photographers who graciously gave us the GPS coordinates to this wonderful bird spot. Tse Chein passed away in August last year at the early age of 41 years. With his passing Malaysia lost one of its greatest bird and nature photographers and a guy who was an inspiration to all who met him.