The Lockdown Sunbirds

The cost of a print varies from R175 (A4 size of 21 x 29.7cms)) to R350 (A3 size of 29.7 x 42cms). I make my own prints – up to A3+ size (that’s 33 x 48 cms or 13″x19″) – using Lucia inks on Canon’s full range of archival photo papers. The high gloss Luster or Pro Platinum papers are a good choice for these birds. Shipping is only to South African addresses because international courier charges can be high. You can also purchase a R250 download (for personal use) of each image. Please go to the shop to order and for further information about each image. You can purchase using a credit card, debit card or instant EFT. Postage and packaging for courier delivery throughout South Africa is an additional R150. Delivery in Grahamstown is free! If you’d like image rights for commercial purposes then please submit a Request Image Rights form. Read on for the story of the birds and a gallery of their pictures.

The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda

It’s March 27th 2020, the first day of lockdown. Imagine a window of open space a metre wide and half a metre high. All of these pictures were taken through this little open window that’s on the stoep outside our living room. The left hand side of it is the corner pillar of our stoop. On the right hand side of the open space hangs our new bird feeder – filled with sugar water – for the sunbirds. You can see the perch on some of the pictures. The Lockdown Sunbird Series was taken in the days, weeks and months that followed as the Greater Double-Collared, Southern Double-Collared and Amethyst Sunbirds came to feed on the sugar water. Bulbuls and Cape Weavers were common visitors as well. To me the birds represented freedom and beauty and I’ve done my best to show this.

Poster for The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
The Lockdown Sunbirds Poster

They’re difficult birds to photography because they are small – between the size of a large hen’s egg and a sparrow – and very quick. I got all of these shots as they flitted across from, and back to, the large boer bean tree that grows behind the pillar of the stoep. My Olympus OMD EM1 II can take an amazing 60 frames per second in High Capture Pro mode. So if I get 10 frames with a sunbird going across to the feeder then it’s covering the one metre in 1/6th of a second. That’s fast! I had to sit close to the feeder as well because the best lens I have for the job is the M.Zuiko 40-150 mm – most bird photographers use something like a 300-600 mm lens. But with patience the birds got used to having me sitting nearby with the camera held to my eye ready to get a shot.

The Lockdown Sunbirds