Well, just one bird tonight, but I think you’ll agree that this little gal (or guy) is spectacular enough to have a blog posting all to itself.
I give you the lilac-breasted roller, one of the more common birds you’ll encounter in southern Africa. (The roller family of birds are so-named because of the acrobatic rolls they perform while flying.)
Isn’t she gorgeous? They’re easy to spot because of their bright plumage and because they like to perch up high in trees like this. I have many photos of these birds from most every location we visited, but this is one of my favorites (even though – if you zoom in – you’ll see the bird is not in perfect focus). There’s a couple of reasons: 1) the soft gray cloudy sky gives it a solid background for contrast and 2) because of the different textures of the two tree branches in front combined with the way they’re blurred because they are not my focal point. I do violate the rule of thirds for photography by having the bird in the center of the photo, but the branches and their textures are in the left third, drawing your eyes that way, so maybe we’ll just think of those photography rules as being more like guidelines anyway.