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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen (Image ID 44536)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Sat 19th May, 2018 and uploaded on Sat 30th Jan, 2021 .
Resolution1545x1210
Viewed208
ID44536
CommentImage Specific Narrative (01.30.21BiL~BOZ_4721 PsCext+):
A sceptic might easily suggest that this is a ‘trick’ photo, but such were the conditions of that morning at 08:14: Dead calm winds, not a ripple on the water and perfect light. I was standing crouched on the floating viewing platform at Bibra Lake (Western Australia), watching several pairs of Purple Swamphens in the early stages of territory disputes and pairing up. This male bird was captured strutting back towards the shore after a ferocious courtship battle, having clearly won and chased away the opponent. As I was very close to the bird, granted: I have extended the canvas top, bottom and front, slightly increased saturation and removed halos, but otherwise the image is not manipulated and presented as per the NEF/RAW file.
GENERAL: The Purple Swamphen is an impressive, common bird in WA. Its haunting call and the fact that it may be found at the smallest body of water, makes it difficult to miss. When breeding, it is very territorial, and mighty battles often occur on the borders of adjoining territories with much splashing and hullabaloo. The birds will excitedly chase one another across the water without taking flight, long, strong legs noisily churning the water surface. The winner will strut back to his own corner like a boxing champ after a win. Status of the species (2016): Least Concern
EquipmentNikon D3S camera body, Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR
EXPOSURE MODE: Aperture Priority f7.1shutter speed 1/800 sec; EV +0.3 step & ISO-500. Matrix Metering Mode; Focus Mode: AF-C; AF Area Mode: Single.
Camera rig support: Gitzo GT3543XLS Tripod , Dietmar Nill gimbal tripod head. Technique: sitting on knees on viewing platform, using the support as per above.
Nikon ViewNX-i for viewing and selecting files; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2020 for 205% crop, selective sharpening and general post processing; Topaz Pro plug-in DeNoise AI for sharpening and noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ consulted for distribution confirmation and colour checks.
LocationBibra Lake, Western Australia
Keywordsmale, adult, behaviour/display
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