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African (Common) Stonechat

African (Common) Stonechat
Photo Information
Copyright: Jan Hendrik van Rooyen (janhendrik) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 363 W: 58 N: 667] (2392)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-09-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/800 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of Southern Africa II [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-01-10 3:20
Viewed: 4588
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
African (Common) Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

A small bird - the male is black and white with a red-orange chest. Size 13-14cm - this bird is smaller than a Cape Sparrow. Afrikaans: Gewone Bontrokkie

The bill is short and straight. The bill is black, the eye black or dark brown, and the legs and feet black

This is a dumpy bird with a shortish tail. The male has a black cap, which extends onto the back of the neck and the throat. The breast and upper belly is a rich reddish-brown colour, and there is a large white area on the side of the neck and around the shoulder. The wing is dark brown and there is a patch of white on the wing too. The female has a greyish brown head and dull orange breast. It has no white patch on the side of the neck, but has a pale, whitish belly, and a slight eye-stripe above the eye.

Both male and females and males have an obvious white rump.

This is a bird of damp grasslands and vleis. It is also found in pastures and fields. In many areas it is resident, but some birds are non-breeding migrants, and in that case are not restricted to damp areas, but may be found in open drier country.

It is usually seen in pairs and usually perches up on a stick or shrub. It flies down onto the ground, and often flicks its wings.

This species eats mainly insects and worms.

When disturbed it gives a harsh three note alarm call: tseep....tchick tchick. The call sounds like two small stones being struck together - hence the name. It breeds mainly in the summer months - from July to December. The nest is well hidden inside a clump of vegetation and consists of an untidy bowl of grass and rootlets. It is lined neatly with rootlets and animal hairs.

SOURCE: African (Common) Stonechat


            Camera: Canon 20D
       Camera mode: Aperture priority
       Time of day: 16H27
              Date: 10 September 2006
              Lens: Canon 100-400mm IS USM
     Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
            F-Stop: F/9.0
      Focal Length: 400mm
           Support: Hand Held
               ISO: 200
Original file type: Raw (CR2)

clnaef, elefantino, loot, vanderschelden, Tamrock, keanhoon, uleko, RAP, uduputuk, valy67, JoseMiguel, clint, Luis52, saeedabbasi, metcher, brouble has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Joli portrait. Les teintes sont parfaites.
Bonne journée.

Nice shot of this small bird.
Well done and TFS


hi jan,
nice shot,
well composed,
nice pov, good dof,
sharpness, focus excellent,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-01-10 4:21]

Bello disparo y excelentes detalles y compo. me agrada la escena, la iluminacion y bg, saludos Jan.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-01-10 4:55]
  • [2]

Hello Jan Hendrik

Voorwaar uitstekend.

A seriously stunning capture you presented to us here.

This is a magnificent composition in its simplicity with the straw running across the angle of the frame and the little bird hanging on for dear life. But what really gives this photo impact is the lighting and the BG. You have managed the exposure perfectly to achieve excellent contrasts on this rather difficult and dark coloured bird while the DOF gave you brilliant details on the subject. The evenly coloured BG is completely OOF and there are no detail left, whatsoever, to distract or derail any attention. The colours are great and very natural and it all adds up to a eye-catching result.

Very well done ant TFS.

Hi Jan,
Great work.
Wonderful picture.
So much light and no harsh sunlight with ugly shadows; I wonder when it was taken concerning weather conditions and time of the day...?
Just love it!

hi jan
sharp and with nice pov and dof
well composed and fine bg

Great shot, I like the composition, pose and colours.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-01-10 8:20]

Hello Jan-Hendrick,
This is a fine capture of what I think is a female Stonechat. This is razor sharp and well composed. Together with the grass and fine bg, this is a an exquisite study in buffs and browns.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

Hi Jan,
Very sharp details and i like the BG too.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-01-10 8:27]

Hello Jan,
Really brilliant capture of this Stonechat, perfectly sharp and nice colours. I love the colour of the background too. Very fine composition.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Hello Jan,

Really a nice photo. perfect colors BG POV DOF really a nice quailty photo excllent work

TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-01-10 9:15]

Bella composición Jan Hendrik a partir de un estético punto de vista bien combinado con el encuadre elegido para su presentación.
La belleza del ave se ve realzada por la apropiada iluminación, foco y agudeza que brindan también intensos colores y perfectos detalles de su delicado plumaje.
El OOF obtenido colabora definitivamente con la calidad de la presentación.
Un cordial saludo desde Buenos Aires... Ricardo

Beautiful composition Jan Hendrik starting from an aesthetic point of view very well combined with the elected framing for their presentation.
The beauty of the bird is enhanced by the appropriate illumination, focus and sharpness that also offer intense colors and perfect details of its delicate plumage.
Obtained OOF collaborates definitively with the of presentation quality.
A cordial greeting from Buenos Aires... Ricardo

wow, so sharp, TFS Ori

Hello Jan,
I have nothing to add. It's perfect in every single way!

Tfs, best regards,

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2007-01-10 12:11]

Hello jan !
This one is so beautiful ! Excellent sharpness and details, splendid composition and POV, but what I like most on this picture are the warm colors, on the bird as well as on the BG. This cute bird stands out very nicely on this blurred BG. Very well done !

Hello Jan,
You got a very sharp and deatiled image of this bird!
I like a lot details on the plumage, head and beak.
Very good POV, it's very interesting observe the way it uses his legs to stand on the branch, one full extended and the other folded.
Lovely illumination and color harmoy of the overall picture.
Congratulations and thanks for share,

  • Great 
  • marcin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 138 W: 0 N: 268] (2057)
  • [2007-01-10 14:37]

bardzo ladne, szczegolowe zdjecie

  • Great 
  • clint Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 39 W: 0 N: 237] (1371)
  • [2007-01-10 17:02]

what can i say, an outstanding capture.
the detail and the pose are spot on, you,ve caught a beautiful background and a lovely catch light in the eye. superb shot.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-01-10 20:31]

Hola Jan.- Me agrada este bello pajarillo, su pose y el fondo lucen exelentes. Muy buen trabajo. Luis52.

I love the all the shades of tans and browns in this composition. It is lovely. This looks technically perfect to me. I really like the simplicity of the compsition. It is just elegant.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-01-11 3:08]

Wow... Everything is sooo sharp, Jan Hendrik.
I love the clean BG and the composition with the diagonal grass.
I think the colors are striking, and I like the monochromatic scheme.
Great catchlight in the eye.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2007-01-11 21:22]

Excellente photo,le sujet est bien agrippé aux tiges et les couleurs de cette composition s'harmonise bien.

Hi Jan ,
excellent shot,
very well composition and nice BG.
great color and sharpness.
thanks for sharing this beautiful image.

  • Great 
  • milas Gold Star Critiquer [C: 191 W: 0 N: 10] (173)
  • [2007-01-14 11:53]

hi jan,
good photo selamlar

Hi, Jan.
Really nice shot. Excellent eposure, pose and POV. Light is very beautiful. Well composed, tack sharp with beautiful BG and colors.

Great Shot, I love the composition.


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