Ross Couper is a Field Guide at Singita Kruger National Park and a keen wildlife photographer. As part of our series of favourite photos from our game rangers in the bush, Ross recently shared a stunning photo of a mature and battle-worn female leopard. Today, he sent us this slightly comical shot of a scruffy-looking Bateleur – read on to find out how this photo came about:

Ruffled copyright Ross Couper | Singita Kruger National Park

This photograph could easily be described as a ‘backbreaker’ as I waited over an hour with my camera focused on this Bateleur in the hope that I would be able to capture the bird in flight. A few puffy white clouds were passing by and I knew that if I had a chance I would be extremely disappointed if a cloud appeared behind the bird as it took off. As we both sat there staring at each other, even the Bateleur started to look at me as if I was crazy and decided to groom himself instead. After preening for several minutes, he ruffled all his feathers – in an attempt to dislodge any unwanted parasites – and I was able to get this shot. I was only able to take one photograph with the pure blue sky behind the bird and it turned out beautifully. The eagle continued to clean himself for a further thirty minutes, never taking off from the bare branch, and all the while oblivious to my desire for that perfect in-flight photo.

This photograph was taken with a Nikon D3s using a 300mm F2.8 lens. To see more wonderful shots of the flora and fauna surrounding the lodges, you can catch up on the monthly Wildlife Reports from all of Singita’s lodges and camps, or read our earlier Field Guide Favourites.


Similar blog Posts

Family lunch at Singita Castleton

Family Lunch, Singita Style

A few steps from the front door of the main house at Singita Castleton is a leafy marula tree in whose shade sits a rustic wooden picnic table. This is the location for many of the al fresco meals at the exclusive-use property in South Africa, formerly the family home of Singita founder Luke Bailes’…

Read More
Bush breakfast at Singita Grumeti

Bush Breakfast: Surprises in the Serengeti

Set in a grassy plain in northern Tanzania, in a private reserve adjacent to the Serengeti National Park, you will find a charming 1920s-style explorer’s camp. Steeped in character and a sense of nostalgic adventure, Singita Sabora Tented Camp surprises guests with an opulence that is delightfully out-of-place with the rugged terrain of the surrounding…

Read More

Lodges and Camps

Wildlife

Food

grumeti-wildlife-report-august-1
Latest Wildlife Report

Singita Grumeti

As with the last few days in July, large numbers of resident wildlife occupied the areas along the fast drying pools in the many drainage lines on the concession and in the Grumeti River. We noticed a large influx of zebra at the beginning of the month, and then later on a substantial incursion of...

Read More
View all Wildlife Reports

Videos from Singita

Latest Video

Singita Serengeti House - The Inspiration

Overlooking a well-visited waterhole on the south-eastern slopes of Sasakwa Hill, this welcoming exclusive-use retreat for families and friends is chosen for carefree private relaxation in a home-like atmosphere. This is a happy, vibrant place conducive to bonding and making precious memories in one of Africa’s most beautiful locations.

Environmental Education - Komanani
Community & Conservation
Singita Wildlife Showcase Video
A Wildlife Showcase
All Videos