<< Previous Next >>


Photo Information
Copyright: Japie Venter (japie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-01-07
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Sigma 170-500mm APO, Digital ISO 100, Skylight
Exposure: f/8, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): 40-49 Points (Chapter 2), Red Eyed Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-08 22:52
Viewed: 6410
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I had the opportunity to do a couple of hours worth of shooting with Gerhard this Friday before having to go to the office (He was on leave, not me). We did this at the Marievale wetlands reserve between Springs and Nigel. This place is also one of Callie’s favorites and he knows the best places. This here is the African Purple Swamphen (Purple Gallinule) (Roberts: 223)

It is a medium sized dark blue waterbird with a heavy bill. Size 38-46 cm - a bit smaller than a Guineafowl and stands tall on longish legs. Afrikaans: Grootkoningriethaan

The bill is massive and short, being very deep at the base and is red. The red colour extends up onto the head as there is a patch of bare skin called the "shield" which is also red. The legs and toes are pinkish-red. He body is a dark metallic purplish blue, with olive-green on the wings and back. There is a patch of white plumage under the tail, which is made obvious by the birds habit of flicking the short tail upwards.

The Purple Swamphen is larger than either the Red-knobbed Coot or Common Moorhen

The Purple Swamphen is found in large reedbeds and marshes, and in smaller reedbeds around the edges of dams and pans.

It is often seen clambering amongst the reeds, or striding over muddy patches between the reeds.

The African Purple Swamphen eats roots, tubers, stems, flowers, grain, insects birds eggs and young and virtually anything else that is edible.

The calls are a range of loud explosive cackles, grunts and bubbling calls.

This species breeds in the summer months. The nest is a large bowl of rushes, reeds and grass, which is placed on a floating island or quite high up amongst dense waterside vegetation.

The camera settings:

Program Setting: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 500mm
F Stop: F/8
Shutter Speed: 1/125sec
ISO: 100
Tripod: No, Supported against the hide
Flash: Diffused Off Camera ETTL.
Reflective Panel: No
Cable release: No
White Balance: Sun

"Maybe Bigfoot is a short guy with BIG feet?"

rlortie, willie, red45, radz, NINIX, Callie, LordPotty, Lourens, milloup, Signal-Womb, miqra, mumek, deud, Luc, extramundi, ALIRIZA has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To milloup: Men In captivityjapie 2 01-09 15:40
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

I like the comnposition, details in the feathers, colors and the environment. Great note too. This Swamphen looks like our common moorhen we find here, but more colorful.
Very good post Japie"

Very colorful bird with enormous feet. Composition, exposure and DOF are excellent. Well seen, Japie.

Very good post japie. Excellent composition with rich colours and good detail. well done

Excellent Japie.
Great colours especially the plumage, it's shimmers so nice.
Very good pose, great details and note.
Excellent work.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-01-09 4:09]

Wow! We found Bigfoot now :-) Beautiful light, composition with reeds on BG, colours, details. Excellent Japie!

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2005-01-09 5:01]

Great details,compostion&DOF,10/10.Useful note to understand this shot.

What a shot to ruin a friendship - you go off alone, leaving me at work, and then you shoot this fantastic shot of this Thug of the Reeds, in such a beautiful light and setting!
What do YOU have that they post so nicely for you? I have been trying now for 4 years already, but they are always Faaaar away on the edges of the reeds.
Back to the post - Japie, this one rocks, I recon this is on par with your Party Animal post, just superbe, Mooi gedoen, my Vriend!

  • Great 
  • NINIX Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 47 N: 355] (3001)
  • [2005-01-09 6:28]

Hi Japie,

What a beautifull pictures you make. Is it that easy for you? Do they live in your backgarden? No I think you developed a special eye for it. Any way it is hard to beat. (I do my best with Ducht Safari).

Thanks a lot,


There you go again...bleedin' South Africans pretending New Zealands native birds are Africas. Yep... This purple gallinule is identical to our Pukeko. A nice shot too. (I'll chuck one of my own in workshop)

Excellent post, Japie. Looks like this fellow has double-jointed feet!! Nice!!

Wauw, great capture, beautifully clean and sharp. The colours just pop off the screen, and the reflection makes the feet look even bigger than they are. I can well understand Callie's envious of this one!
I can just picture him at work, driven hard by an unmerciful employer and green with envy thinking of you guys roaming free in the bushes ;-))
Btw I couldn't help laughing when I saw that a photo titled "drunk and disorderly" was dedicated to you. Does she know something we don't? ;-)))

Composition: *****
Sharpness: ***
Color: ****
DOF: ***
POV: ****

Great shot, water reflections, colors...

Yes this bird has been very much caught in its environment. It looks like its feet have been well adapted for that. Great shot.

  • Great 
  • miqra Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 140 W: 3 N: 23] (151)
  • [2005-01-09 9:58]


  • Great 
  • mumek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 104 W: 0 N: 180] (853)
  • [2005-01-09 14:19]

The composition is fantastic, very artistic.The light is super!.The details , colors and sharpness of the bird are very beautiful.Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2005-01-09 16:38]

Très surprenant ! Que dire de plus "Extra"

Pretty creepy traks must leave ... Absolutely faboulos image!

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-01-10 9:32]

it's good to live in south africa! so many different places and creatures live here!


  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-01-10 15:00]

Impossible, you have forge this one, Japie!
A bird so beautiful with such paws. I will report a violation! ;-)
Fantastic shot!
A great post: picture and note.

Whoaaa!! We have an almost exactly similar species here in South India. I spent an hour yesterday trying to get a clean shot in vain against a late evening sun and here you got it so clean and sharp. Including the rippled water surface has added a heightened sense of dynamism on the composition. Congrats!!

Excellent subject, fantastic shot. Thanks again, Japie.
You posted wonderful shots lately, and I was not around. I have seen them all, beautiful. Thanks.

Hello Japie,
Nice capture with good composition,colors and detail you have caught.Very intersting note too.

  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-02-08 18:15]

Hi Japie

Your African Swamp Hen is fab. It looks a lot like the european Moorhen. Though the beak is more robust and the legs, obviously longer. I love taking the Moohen here in grey old England. They can bring some unexpected shots with action.

Your notes are great and very helpful.

Your work is beautiful.



Calibration Check