My Mission to Photograph Kingfishers (4th May 2014)

Around this time a year ago, I had never seen a kingfisher. Then during a visit to the Wolseley Centre in Staffordshire I met a man who told me that a kingfisher regularly darted up and down the river at the Centre.

I stood and waited in the exact spot where he had told me to watch. And sure enough after about half an hour, I spotted a flash of blue heading down the river. I didn’t get a good look at the kingfisher as he didn’t stop, but just seeing that flash of blue left me with a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

But as the year went on, seeing a kingfisher wasn’t enough for me. I had to photograph one. I visited the Wolseley Centre a few times, but again, I just saw a quick flash of blue. As I sat on a bench to eat my lunch the kingfisher sat on a wooden post right in front of me. But as I reached for my camera, he flew away.

Later on that year, I visited Leighton Moss, a nature reserve in Lancashire. As I walked along the Causeway early in the morning, I spotted three women standing by a tree overlooking the lake. They told me they had seen a kingfisher fly by several times, occasionally landing on a bullrush. So I stood and waited. After half an hour the three women left and I was joined by two photographers keen to get a photo of the kingfisher. It was December and it was cold. But I couldn’t take my eyes off the lake. After over three hours, he finally made an appearance, landing on a nearby bullrush and I got the photo I wanted. I left the tree with chattering teeth and made my way to the visitor centre for some well earned home made soup.

But luckily he flew a little closer...
Kingfisher at Leighton Moss, Lancashire.

But despite being pleased with my kingfisher photo, I wanted more. I wanted a photo of a kingfisher in Staffordshire. Me and my Mum took a trip to Trentham Gardens. We had spotted a pair of kingfishers from a bird hide heading up and down the river. Thinking we were being clever, we moved closer to the river. Camera poised, I waited. Then the male appeared. Great! This is my chance. But, as soon as he spotted us, he made a u-turn and headed back down the river.

Then on 4th May 2014, I took another visit to the Wolseley Centre, my favourite place to see kingfishers in Staffordshire. It was 9.30am and I sat on a bench by the lake. I spotted the kingfisher flying past, as I normally do. But then, he stopped on the mud bank! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I quickly grabbed my camera and took as many photos as possible. After all, I wasn’t sure how long he would stay.

kingfisher11 kingfisher 12

 

He flew away after about a minute, but not down the lake, but onto a tree giving me yet another opportunity to get plenty of photographs of him.

kingfisher13 kingfisher 16 kingfisher 14 kingfisher 15

I was really pleased with the photos I got of this male kingfisher.

Male or Female?

Male kingfishers have an entirely black bill and females have red on the base of their bill.

I am sure in a few months time I will be in search of an even better photograph. I always think when photographing wildlife you are always striving for that absolutely perfect photograph. But that is what I love about it, the mission never ends.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jackie Cheadle says:

    Brilliant photos Zo, I know how difficult it is to get a good photo of the kingfisher as they move so fast, but looks like he came to pose for these for you 🙂

  2. zoeanne83 says:

    I think so. I saw him fly past and couldn’t believe that he stopped and I got a really good view of him. They really are a bird worth waiting for 🙂

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