15 July 2021

Tremendous Thursday at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Cape White Eye Bird Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Cape White-Eye Kirstenbosch
Follow-up morning visit to Kirstenbosch: Small perched birds, a butterfly and some wild flower photography at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

After a few days of rain in Cape Town I returned to Kirstenbosch with the objective to see how well my Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens will perform with the relatively close small birds and flower photography. 
 
I knew I would have no problem with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II body - my only concern was the relatively long Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) of the 400mm prime lens. I generally have no issues with Birds in Flight photography (with EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens), but this combination could be challenging in the Kirstenbosch close-up / variable distanced perched small bird photography environment.

It took me a while to get used to the non-zoom 400mm Canon lens with its challenging MFD, but am overall quite satisfied with the body / lens performance for small bird, butterfly and flower photography - definitely my go-to kit for small bird, butterfly and flower photography at Kirstenbosch.

Last week at Kirstenbosch (in similar weather conditions) I tested my Canon EOS 70D paired with the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens for small bird and flower photography. Although the lens had a shorter MFD than the 400mm prime lens I found the image quality improvement, noise management, continuous shooting speed and Autofocus responsiveness of the EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f.5.6L lens of a higher standard for my Kirstenbosch photography requirements.

New Kirstenbosch Bird Species Index
During the morning I photographed four new bird species which I added to my own 'Kirstenbosch Bird Species Index' as I did over the last ten years with my personal 'Woodbridge Island Bird Species Index'.

Kirstenbosch birds photographed during the morning:
  • Southern Double-Collared Sunbird 
  • Cape white-eye
  • Cape bulbul
  • Dusky flycatcher
  • Southern boubou shrike
  • Karoo prinia
  • Southern Double-Collared Sunbird 
  • Hadeda ibis
  • Egyptian goose

Canon Camera / Lens: Birds and Flowers Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode: 400mm @ f/5.6 / Auto- ISO (Various) / 1/1000s - 1/2500s shutter speeds
  • No Lens IS / Handheld

Post-Processing: Adobe Lightroom 

Perched Small Birds at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Southern Double-Collared Sunbird  Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Southern Double-Collared Sunbird  Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Cape Town

Cape Bulbul Bird Perched Kirstenbosch Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Cape Bulbul on Guard Duty Kirstenbosch Garden Cape Town

Dusky Flycatcher Bird Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Dusky Flycatcher Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town

Southern Boubou Shrike Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Southern Boubou Shrike Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town

Karoo Prinia Bird Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Vernon Chalmers Photography
Karoo Prinia Bird Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Hadeda Ibis in Flight Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Hadeda Ibis in Flight Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town

Egyptian Goose Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Egyptian Goose Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town

Small Garden Acraea Butterfly at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Male Garden Acraea Butterfly Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Male Garden Acraea Butterfly Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town

Plants / Flowers at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Arum Lily Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Arum Lily Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town

Flower Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Flower Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town

Protea Flower Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Protea Flower Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town

Small Flower Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Small Flower Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town

Wild Plant Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Wild Plant Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden Cape Town

Blooming Pincushion Protea Flower Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Photography
Blooming Pincushion Protea Flower Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town

Bird / Flower Photography Training Kirstenbosch  More

Glorious Morning at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden View

Fabulous Friday at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden View 

Vernon Chalmers 'Kirstenbosch Bird Species Index' View

From Darkness into Light... Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Butterflies and Sunbird at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Images © Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Policy

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Map & Directions Kirstenbosch Google Map

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Website