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For Gert Ellstrom

For Gert Ellstrom
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-06-21
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 400
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/30 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 3, Dedications I have made, Animals from my garden [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-07-24 5:20
Viewed: 5158
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 92
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Nataljanfrederick / Cossypha natalensis

Today's image is dedicated to a very special gentleman whom I am sure; most of us miss around the site. (ellis49). Yes, yes, I know Gert has been gone almost 4 months now, but for months on end, I have been looking for the "right" image to dedicate to Gert and finally I have found it. This lovely little Nataljanfrederick, also known as the Natal Robin or the Red-capped Robin Chat is extremely difficult to photograph, as they are very shy and cautious. I have taken many shots of them, but not one was suitable to post, and definitely not good enough for a photographer of Gert's calibre. This one I snapped from out of the bedroom window, just after I have thrown seeds around the bird bath. It was so cat-footed, but luckily for me, I saw it hiding under the cycad’s leaves, and patiently waited and watched it coming closer and closer until I had the right point of view to photograph it.

Gert’s bird images always astounded me and still do, and I wanted to give him something special in return for all the pleasure he brought to the eye and the heart with his delightful images. When I saw the outcome of this image I instantaneously knew this one was for Gert, and I do hope he gets the opportunity to see it. Although he is not active on Trek Nature at this time and date, the well known saying "Out of sight, is out of mind" is definitely not true in this instance.

I cannot pass this moment by without quoting a fellow member's sentiment for Gert, and I feel exactly like Peter van Zoest (PeterZ). I quote:

"What a disappointment! You are leaving us. It's very sad. You are the favourite of 360 members. You are one of the few real masters who left. Okay, I miss the technical advises and comments too, but when people like you are leaving us, who had to give the advise then? I want to thank you for all you learned me and the joy I had to look at all your beautiful photos. Hope to see you again."

"Dear Gert, it is not only Peter who hopes to see you again, there are plenty others that have the same thought and expectation!"

Information with regard to this bird is very scarce and I share a few tit bits I found here, there and everywhere on the Internet, books and magazines.

General Overwiew
The Natal Robin belongs to the family of birds classified as Muscicapidae. This is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow, but this is not an accurate visualisation. The height of the bird is about 18cm and its weight is about 32g. The male and female Red-capped Robin-Chat has the same plumage and colours.

It is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying it will seek out a new mate. The nesting habit of these birds is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are olive in colour and numbers between 2-4. Data indicate breeding activity between August-April.

The Natal Robin is a characteristic species. It is a fine songster and superb mimic, and its bright orange underpants, slate blue wings and orange head with rufous crown make it a distinctive bird.

They prefer habitat like woodlands and grasslands, and is often seen in shrubbery gardens in KwaZulu-Natal coastal towns. These birds are not seen in flocks. The bird prefers to act singly or in pairs. The closest relative of the Natal Robin is the Chorister Robin and the two species breed side by side in some forest areas.

This bird is also known in other languages as:
Afrikaans:- Nataljanfrederik
English:- Natal Robin
Portuguese:- Cossifa do Natal
French:- Cossyphe calotte rousse
Dutch:- Roodkap

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it. The search is once again on for a suitable photograph for another respected member and great photographer, who have left our midst, Howard Cheek. I look forward to find that image soon.

pierrefonds, cloud, goatman04, goldyrs, Neuro_Toxin, ellis49, Luis52, thor68, jaycee, Dis. Ac., uleko, nazirbadar, horias, jcoowanitwong, CeltickRanger, Noisette, meyerd, Nilson, KOMSIS, oldferret, roges, techranger, Argus, romuszka, albert, boreocypriensis, tuslaw, Hormon_Manyer, maurydv has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Argus: Swedish coloursMiss_Piggy 1 07-31 03:06
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Anna,

The point of view is allowing us to see the details and colors of the Natal Robin. The subject is well framed. The picture is clear and sharp. The light is enhancing the colors. Have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-07-24 5:46]

Hi Anna,
such a superbs shot. The colours are exciting and glows in brilliance. You have presented it excellently with the contrast so well defined.
A great dedication.


Gert is indeed a fortunate person to have a nice picture as this dedeicated to him!I love the photo, it's sharp,the colours are spot-on end even the required glint in the eye is there.
Well done, Anna!

Hi Anna,

Lucky you to see this beautiful bird. Very nice colours. You also have captured this nicely. I think the photo can be sharpened a bit more. But overall its an awesome composition.


  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2009-07-24 7:23]

Hello Anna,
We haven't such colourful birds. it recollect pictures painted by childrens in kindergarden. Nature is very interesting. The bird is sharp, joyful pose.
Regards, Pawel

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-07-24 7:46]

Hi Anna,
What a gem of a bird. A lovely dedication to Gert!
It has amazing colors, and you did a great job of catching the iridescence on those blue feathers.
Your patience paid off. The POV is excellent, as well as the eye contact.
I can't believe you get such beautiful birds right outside your bedroom window.
TFS. : )

Hello Anna,

This is an excellent shot of this Natal Robin with brilliant attractive colors, sharpness, pose & fine details. Well done & its really a joy to view. TFS.



Hello Anna
Quelles belles couleurs, pour ce petit oiseau.
merci pour la pose

Hi Anna,
I don't know what to say, I'm blush and I'm very touched of your beautiful words, I'm not sure I deserve all this kindness.
And I'm happy I still have friends here after my absent from TN. This is a a very fine dedication and it's also a very fine 'birthday' present , I will be 5 TN years tomorrow.:-)
The bird is beautiful with all this amazing colours, I which I have something like this up here. I like the composition with the small diagonal and the pose of the bird is great.
Thanks very much for this my friend, I really estimate it.

I hope you and Loot are doing well even if it's cold in SA,
but I think our summer up here is colder. :-)

Warmest Regards

I will reply to your e-mail later this evening.

I agree with you, Anna, we miss Gert a lot more than we thought we would...

A lovely shot, with beautiful vibrant colours, Anna..The catchlight in the eye is very beautiful.
Very well seen and captured!


Excellent capture of the NatalRobin, Anna.Beautiful colours and lighting.Good focus and sharpness.And your " model " posed beautifully , for the shot. Very useful note too. Great work indeed !. Keep posting more.

Have a NiceDay :)

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-07-24 10:09]

Hola Anna.
Very nice and sharp image of this colorful bird, You did a great work in this photo, and I also miss a lot our good friend Ellis49 and his fine photos, but the rest of us must go on.
TFS Anna.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-07-24 10:39]

Hello Anna,
Fantastic photo of this Natal Robin. Splendid clear colours and excellent sharp details. Beautiful POV and contrasting BG.
The real Dutch name is more difficult: Roodkoplawaaimaker.
Yes, I miss Gert too. Great dedication.

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2009-07-24 10:44]

If this pretty bird does not win Gert back, i would not know what would...
great capture, never have seen one of those before, the colors are wonderful as well as the pose and the pov.
well done & best wishes, thor.

hello Anna
so full of Beautiful colours
i like the cobalt bleu!
great sharpness and good details
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-07-24 17:07]

Hi Anna,

I have never seen anything like this magnificent looking Natal Robin. He must have known this was for a dedication to Gert and that is why he looked so sweetly into the camera. The face, eye and feathers are beautiful with fine details and the most fantastic colors. I do hope Gert sees this and will realize how much he is missed.


Hi Anna,

what an beautiful bird.
Very good dedication to Gert (my name also)
Good pov and sharpness.

I were also back but I came back maybe he also come back.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-07-24 23:04]

Hello Anna,
What a fine capture of this beautiful bird in wonderful shiny and bright colours. Excellent details too and well composed.
A very fine dedication to Gert too!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-07-25 3:33]

Great!!! Colors is wonderful...all is lovely!

amazing bird! TFS Ori

Hi Ann.
Littlebird's colouring is miraculous, colours oneself they nicely replenish , composition and sharpness pleases me also.
Greeting from Poland Robert.

Hi Anna,
A beautiful Natal Robin and a perfect photo to dedicate to ellis49. Your patient pay off handsomely. Very well done.

Ciao Anna, lovely little bird with fantastic colors, nice pose, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hello Anna,
You have captured areal beuty with this image of the robin. you are so fortunate to live in such a remote area where tghe species are so unlike any that we have here in the States. The detail of the feathers and Downy feathers within the image is excellent,
An Excellent Capture of this flitty bird...

hello Anna

excellent close-up photo of this beautifully colored Robin,
fine POV and framing, excellent sharpness and details,
the catch-light on its eye and the bird'es eye-contact
with you render this photo more beautiful, TFS


Hello Anna
great dedication for a very talented photographer, like you and like so many other TN members, i am missing Gert too
this bird is so beautiful, his colors are absolutly amazing, but i like also his pose, the POV, the lighting and the composition
Have a great WE

  • Great 
  • Marx44 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 97 N: 926] (3891)
  • [2009-07-25 10:03]

Great Anna.
Its's beautiful, excellent colours and excellent sharpness
with great details.

Una foto preciosa con dos aspectos sobresalientes: el color y la pose del ave.
Bien realizado el enfoque, tanto, que te permite el gran acercamiento que da la impresión incluso de que el ave sea un anadido! Como siempre un trabajo que no te deja indiferente: enhorabuena Anna: Josep Ignasi.

Hi Anna,
what an unusual bird you present here, I've never seen a combination of light blue and orange before. Interesting !

On my screen the picture appears somewhat grainy. I can only guess why this is so. 1) you may have overdone the sharpening process. 2) 400 ISO might cause grain.

I am exploring the possibilities and limits of a Cybershot DSC-10 myself, because during bicycle trips bulky equipment is out of the question. I already adopted the rule to fix it on 100 ISO. I hate all the automatisms and the screen finder of this otherwise nice camera!

Thanks for the contribution, Anna!

Best regards

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2009-07-27 16:15]

Hello Anna
Nice shot with good colors and details, the composition have good elements.
Well done

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2009-07-28 3:28]

Hi Anna,
A very nice bird and photo ...
Very beautiful photo in excellent sharpness an perfect details and especially the bright colors.
Best wishes,

Hi Anna,

What a stunning bird, I love the colours. A good POV with good focus and dof showing fine detail. The background realy helps show off the colours.

TFS regards Bill

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-07-29 12:34]

Hi Anna,

Exceptional capture.
Splendid done and played. Some magnificent colors.
Have a beautiful evening,

Very colorful and well presented capture Anna. Detail and lighting are wonderful. TFS


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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-07-29 23:22]
  • [+]

Hello Anna,
A superb capture of this beautiful bird, the Natal Robin and a very suitable tribute to our TN friend Gert Elleström. He has his own reasons for leaving TN but we all miss him. I don't know if this was intentional, but this species of bird displays the Swedish colours in a fine way!:))
The POV shows these colours in an excellent way with fine sharpness and contrast against the gravel BG.
Thanks and best regards to you and Loot.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-07-31 11:40]

Hi Anna,this beautiful bird remember me my trip in Kenya....many years ago...eheh....your pis is impressive,isn't easy to have colors so fantastics in the shadow,you manage very well the light for a best result as possible.My best compliments,have a nice weekend,LUCIANO.

Witaj Aniu
Very lovely portrait. Beautifully coloured little bird. Bright eye, good sharpness and pretty colours. Excellent dedication.
Gratuluje i pozdrawiam - Roma

Hello Anna,
Great bird and top class photo, fantastic details and colours,even on the BG!
Have a nice W-E

Hi again Anna,
Another great bird shot from you. What a colourful and fine looking bird? wehich i have not seen before. Wonderful pose, neat details and delightful composition.
TFS and cheers,

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-08-02 20:51]

Incredibly beautiful bird Anna,
Those iridescent blue wing and tail feathers contrasting the golden head and breast feathers is gorgeous. Tac sharp detail with perfect exposure makes this an amazing image. Congratulations on a fine specimen for a dedication!!!! TFS.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2009-08-13 2:19]

Hi Anna

Very nice dedication from you to our beloved friend Gert whom we miss a lot around here...at least us older members, who knew him a bit better.
This is a very nice shot from you. I like the look of this Natal Robin with its bright, vibrant colors and nice pose.
I see that you pushed your camera to the limit here - both with the higher ISO and the resolution - yet the result is still ok. Maybe you should borrow Loot's great from time to time ;)
Anyway, well seen and taken.

Bravo and TFS

Hi Anna,
Fantastic, colorful image, excellent bird portrait and of course a nice dedication to Gert. It's always sad when such a great photographer decides to leave the site. Lovely shot, beautiful work Lady Ann. Although it was accidental, colors of the Swedish flag is represented quite well. Brilliant image.
Best wishes from Hungary, László

Hello Anna

A wonderful capture of this brightly coloured bird.
Excellent feather detail ,well illuminated.
I have never seen this bird before,thanks for posting it.
Great job.


All photos are very beautiful, which was surprised to comments. Nataljanfrederick in an exquisite beauty.
Sharing and a very nice presentation.
Sincerely ...

Hi Anna,
What brilliant colours of this Natal Robin.
Exceptional sharpness with contrast " bringing out" interesting detail.TFS and well done, hope to see you soon.

Hallo Anna,
a fantastic capture of this wonderful bird, superb sahrpness, marvellous and incredible colours very well saturated, excellent low POV and very nice composition
Best regards

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