Folks, I really tried

A while back I wrote about the guinea fowl clan we have in our neighbourhood, and how they had little ones running around with them. Since then I have been trying to get some better photos of the adults and the young chicks.

I’ve been behaving like a complete lunatic for the past couple of weeks. Every time I hear the guinea fowl close by, I rush outside with the camera and try to take some photos. Willie has even phoned me from his car on the way to town, to let me know their current location!

I am not sure what our neighbours think of all of this, but I must be getting a reputation as the wild, crazy woman who goes running down the street every now and then – for no apparent reason! People in their cars slow down to stare at me. Some even stop for fear that they’re getting in the way of a “perfect shot”. They aren’t. I’m nowhere near perfection on this photographic project. Most of my photos are out-of-focus “action shots”, as the guinea fowl run off down the road to avoid me. Herding their little ones to the safety of the marshy area at the bottom of our road. Or I actually get a photo that is in focus, but I’ve “chopped off” some bit of the bird.

The last straw, and the reason I’m giving this whole thing up as a hopeless case, is when Rosie and I went for our early morning walk the other day. It was cool and misty. No, make that foggy – we were actually getting a little wet from the fine water droplets. We were just around the corner from home, when I suddenly realised that the guinea fowl were all around us. Leisurely pecking in the grass and flowerbeds, on both sides of the road. Some walking in the road behind us. The little ones were standing calmly by the side of the road. All of them completely unfazed that the dog and I were just meters away. I could have got some absolutely brilliant shots. The problem: I did not have a camera with me. I just knew that if I went home and got one, all I would be seeing is a back view as they ran away from me . . . again.

So I went on to the Internet and found on Wikipedia Commons, a photograph of what they look like now. Cute, aren’t they?!

Image source: Wikipedia (click on photo for original image)

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Categories: Random


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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16 Comments on “Folks, I really tried”

  1. January 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    They are very cute. We have bush turkeys in our neighbourhood – and it is very close to the city centre.

    • January 16, 2011 at 4:19 am #

      I just did a search on Google Images for “bush turkeys” (not putting the inverted commas around) and it came up with several photos of G.W. Bush with a turkey (some cooked and others still alive)! How funny!

      I think it’s interesting that the wildlife is reclaiming some or their territory.

  2. January 15, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    I know JUST what you mean! We had some of a similar species in our back yard in WA state- the mother would cover them with her wings when really stressed. They are PRECIOUS.

    • January 16, 2011 at 4:20 am #

      It’s really interesting to see how protective the birds are of their babies.

  3. January 16, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    How cute they are! Have to admit though, that you had me laughing out loud on this one–so much so that Sara had to know what was so funny. Something about you having Willy phone in his latest sighting just cracked me up! Too funny–I love it, Lisa!

    • January 16, 2011 at 4:24 am #

      You have absolutely NO idea what lengths we “wildlife photographers” will go to to get those perfect shots! 😉

      I think the photographers who work for publications like National Geographic, must be fit enough and resourceful enough, to be able to qualify for a special forces unit!

  4. January 16, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    I feel that way at times trying to get the shot I want, looking crazy at the eyes of the outsiders, but it´s fun!!

    • January 16, 2011 at 4:26 am #

      You’re right. I’m usually so engrossed by what I’m doing, that it often only occurs to me afterwards how ridiculous I must look to other people.

  5. January 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Lovely photo – and I can imagine your frustration at not getting the perfect shot. Camera and no opportunity, or opportunity and no camera!
    A friend of mine’s mum and her friend were at Kirstenbosch in Cape Town once, admiring the guinea fowl nearby, when one of the birds flew up and landed on my friend’s mom’s head and pecked her quite viciously. I love the look of guinea fowl, but always look at them with an edge of caution after hearing that story!
    Sunshine xx

    • January 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      Yes, it is a lovely photo.

      Wow, it sounds like guinea fowl can be quite vicious! When we went walking this morning, we again came across them around the corner from our house. Two of the adults herded the little ones under a bush, and then stood sentry in front of it. I think they would have got violent if I’d tried to get closer.

  6. January 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    I am sorry about the missed opportunities. I hope that too many of those do not end up passing you by.

    On the other hand, they are truly amazing fowl.

    • January 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

      I’m not sure I’m ever going to get a photo of those guinea fowl. Am beginning to see the point of those bird hides which birders are so fond of!

      I love the guinea fowl feathers. But they are a noisy bunch. In the evenings, the adults birds – probably males! – sit on the wall of one of our neighbours, and make quite a racket. Don’t think the neighbours are too impressed . . .

  7. eremophila
    January 16, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    I commiserate with you on missed opportunities…:-) I’ve found the easiest way to get pics of wild animals/birds, is to try to work out their routine, and then get to the place before they are due. Then you have more chance to ‘blend in’ with the environment. And a nice long zoom lens helps:-) Keep trying, it will be worth it!

    • January 17, 2011 at 5:39 am #

      Thanks for the advice! As I said in a previous comment, I’m beginning to understand the need for bird hides.

  8. January 17, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    I love this post for many reasons, first and foremost because I really relate. It’s so hard to balance the desire for great blog photos with the desire to experience life without reaching for your camera every second. I love the Wiki photo!

    • January 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

      I think I need an “official photographer” too! 🙂 For when I don’t feel like taking photos, or lack the necessary skills to do a good job.

      The Wiki photo is great isn’t it?

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