While I love this blog, I now pretty much only write on my other two blogs: BirdingBlogs.com and 10,000 Birds - I would love to see you there!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Wildlife up close - zebra

there is so much about the burchell's zebra that just says "Africa".

So, getting back to the "Wildlife up close" digiscoping series, I have a few shots of some zebras taken near Satara camp in Kruger National Park. Winter time is the dry season in the park, and the majority of the zebras and wildebeest (gnus) move up to the Satara area because of its "sweet veld". It is not that the grass is in any way sweeter than in "sourveld", it is just that sourveld areas have a higher average rainfall (usually more than about 600mm per year). This relatively higher rainfall tends to leach the nutrients out of the soils, so although the vegetation grows really well in these areas in the wet, growing season (summer), the nutritional value of the grasses in these areas is in winter very low.
In sweetveld, the lower average annual rainfall (usually less than 450mm)
So what this means for mobile grazers like zebra and wildebeest is that it is best to be in the sweetveld when there is a food crunch, and best to be in the productive sourveld in the growing season.

Here is a happy-snappy tourist shot of some zebras:
(this photo does not count for voting)

If you have not seen any of the "Wildlife up close" digiscoping series, then here is a bit of an intro (from the first Cape Buffalo post):
So one of the great things about digiscoping is that one has a huge focal length to play with, so one can really get up close and personal with some pretty impressive creatures. In my time in Southern Africa, I was able to get a whole pile of close-up macro-style images of a variety of wildlife.
What I would like to do is to create a collection of the best "Wildlife up close" images but I would like you to help me out. Each post will feature a different species of African wildlife and I would like to vote for your favorite (or against your least favorite).

Please vote for your favorite, and at the end of the series, I will randomly choose a winner from each post in the series and send them the original full-sized image they chose.

Happy voting and good luck!

Dale Forbes


Fraser Simpson said...

I'll vote for 'Forbes+zebra_1.jpg'
Abstract yet still so 'Zebra'!

Dale Forbes said...

I would have bet a Mars Bar that you would choose that one ;-)

Chris said...

Hi Dale,
I love this close-up, they are gorgeous and full of beautiful lights! Although I tend to love the last one better for the composition and love the close-up for their originality! Have a nice week end!

Gaelyn said...

Oh boy, back to the close ups. I like #3 best, love the zebra mohak.

Sharon said...

Very nice shots. I LOVE the one of the 3 drinking!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

In 3 weeks time I will be in Satara watching the same zebra Dale. Going up there for a week and will think of you. :)

What a pity my favourite pic does not count for voting so I am going to have to go for #1.

Tabib said...

Wow!.. I love all the detail. Very sharp optik.

Dale Forbes said...

Joan, if you are going to be in Satara, you have to say hello to the local scops - there are lots of them and they are really confiding! Also Pearlspotted and whitefaced owls in the camp. Have tons of fun!!!

Thanks Tabib. what astounds me is the clarity I am able to squeeze out when each of these photos was taken at about 1000mm focal length (including the group of three) - digiscoping really is a wonder for a wildlife photographer!

Jochen said...

Clear winner: bum - err - base of tail shot.

Dale Forbes said...

the third one is my desktop pic at the moment - I love it

eileeninmd said...

I came upon your blog just surfing the web. I love your animals photos, the zebras are awesome.