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Greater Striped Swallow (Hirundo cucullata): Habitat is grassland and vlei. It is a common summer visitor to Southern Africa. It's call sounds something like a twittering "chissick". The Afrikaans name for it is "Grootstreepswael".

There are two of them that hang out close to one of the hides in the Marievale Bird Sanctuary. I saw them in exactly the same place the previous week.

This bird is quite small (I guess the one in the photo stands approximately 5 to 6 cm tall) and you therefore have to be patient to get a good shot. This was taken at 500mm (which equals 750mm with the Nikon D100's 1.5x focal magnification) and I still had to crop quite a bit.

I think the photo would have been better with more DOF, but I think the bird's pose with the feather makes up for that a bit. It was another very overcast morning and therefore quite difficult to shoot, and this was the best I could get it. A slower shutter speed would probably have meant a blurry photo.

I ran the image through NeatImage to get rid of some noise. What a difference it makes! I only downloaded NeatImage yesterday, and wish I had done so much earlier. It does wonders for the grainy posting of yesterday...! :-)

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Additional Photos by Henry Engelbrecht (henrye) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 675 W: 66 N: 432] (3500)
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