The chance to photograph a pale chanting goshawk with its kill is one for any nature lover’s memory bank. But how would you feel about having an audience for your morning meal?
Spotting a pale chanting goshawk in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was just the beginning of a special sighting for photographer Gerhard Vosloo. When the Wild fan realised the raptor was tucking into something, he couldn’t believe his luck.
“I spotted the pale chanting goshawk about 30km from Mata-Mata at around 09:13 in the morning. It was 18 March 2016 – just after the first rains had transformed the Kgalagadi into a green splendour. Some of the roads even became, for a short while, small rivers! Everywhere the eye could see was the yellow colour of thousands and thousands of puncture vines – or devil thorns – in bloom,” says Gerhard.
“I was incredibly excited to be present as the sequence of events unfolded. Luckily I was positioned just right to snap this series of photographs.”
As Gerhard’s camera locks onto the bird, the pale chanting goshawk makes a landing at some random nest. But what’s in its claw?
First inspecting its catch, the goshawk tears into the furry flesh of what seems to be a Brant’s whistling rat. Wild fans, what do you think? Leave your comments at the bottom of the article.
Judging by the rodent’s dismal physical appearance, the goshawk has already had a good go at its prey.
With breakfast firmly grasped in its orange claws, the goshawk chomps away, seemingly unaware of Gerhard’s prying lens.
“Were you perhaps invited?” The goshawk looks up and doesn’t seem to take kindly to being put in the spotlight. Its solution? Plan a quick escape to continue the feast in privacy.
Off it goes… The goshawk takes flight with its bounty and disappears over the Kalahari dunes.
Camera specs: Nikon D4, Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4, F8, ISO 720, 1/3200
“The Kgalagadi is my absolute favourite destination,” says Gerhard. “I enjoy the seclusion and as someone with a great love for photography, the Kgalagadi provides – in my humble opinion – some of the best photo opportunities of all the national parks.”
Make sure to keep an eye out for Wild’s next e-newsletter. We are giving away an incredible Kgalagadi stay for two worth more than R15,000!
Click here to find out more about the Kgalagadi.
*All pictures by Gerhard Vosloo