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Fiery-necked Nightjar | Zach Simpson

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Fiery-necked Nightjar, Harding, Kwa-Zulu Natal
Fiery-necked Nightjar | Zach Simpson

Winter always brings about a new aspect to the life on our farm situated just outside of Harding in Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal.

This is the season when the food supply in the area becomes a little scarcer and the animals (for example, Bushbuck, Common Reedbuck, and Common Duiker) start to congregate around the cabbage fields. To try to stop the buck from eating the cabbages, my father plants ryegrass, and oats, to provide some sustenance for them, and to keep them from eating the precious crops.

The ryegrass and oats that are planted, give my brothers and I the chance to go and count the buck and to see if our anti-poaching schemes are working. At night, while doing this it is not uncommon for us to see Fiery-necked Nightjar, as well as other nocturnal bird species such as Spotted Eagle Owl, Marsh Owl, Spotted Thick-knee, and Western Barn Owl.

Something I enjoy doing as a bird photographer is creeping up on the nightjars, getting low down onto their level, to try get some great photos.

I got a really great opportunity with the bird that was photographed in this post, as it was not scared when I got down low and close to it.

So now, the goal is to find some other species and by using the same technique, hopefully, get some more good photos.

Camera: Canon 1D mkIV & 100-400mm lens

Camera settings: ISO 3200 | f5.6 | 1/200s


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