Monday, 22 September 2008

Kingfisher – I finally got him!

While seeking a change of habitat from Blackberry hill, I found myself headed to the Frome valley walkway, quite by accident. As I neared the park overlooking the river, there was only one thing on my mind – the kingfisher. I`d been here twice before and I`d seen the kingfisher on both occasions. I`d also been unable to even get a blurred picture of it on both occasions. These birds are shy, the slightest noise and they are away…and when they fly, they are fast, really fast, and not just that, they don’t fly to the next branch or tree, they fly a long way and don’t return for long periods.

I waited around a long time before I finally caught a glimpse of colour in the distance, I looked closer and it was the Kingfisher! I had my 500mm Minolta Reflex lens on and I tried to focus using the auto focus. However, it must’ve been the low light and the number of plants and bushes in the way, the motor kept whirring while the camera hunted for focus. I felt time running out, switched to manual focus and clicked away, thankfully my shots were in perfect focus as seen below.

Kingfisher

I didnt realise I`d caught the reflection as well, until much later

Kingfisher

I know there are leaves in the way, but I couldn’t have got a better angle without falling into the water.

Kingfisher

The constant stream of noisy people and their dogs didn’t help the situation at all. the Kingfisher heard them coming and took off. I wasn’t satisfied though I just had to get more, so I waited and watched. I dint see any sign of the Kingfisher, so I decided to go closer to where I first saw the bird. Thus I crossed the small stream and just as I was in the middle of it, I spotted the bird again. This time it was sitting in an area that was so shady, that if it hadn’t been for its movement I wouldn’t have spotted it, and so, the camera struggled more than usual, even an ISO of 400 didnt help.

Kingfisher

The Kingfisher seemed to have just swallowed something and was having trouble keeping it down.

Kingfisher

as I clicked, it brought it back up in its gullet and then…

Kingfisher

…swallowed it again. This time though, it seemed to stay down.

Kingfisher

I tried to move closer and the bird spotted me and took off. I waited around longer , and the bird did come back again, however, with the lighting as it was, I struggled. I was even beginning to wonder if I had placed too much faith in my 500mm lens.

Kingfisher

I was getting hungry and had a long way back home, so I decided to call it quits. I packed my gear , got on my cycle and headed off. The path led along the river Frome and as I looked far ahead , I saw a tiny bird flying swiftly over the water. I wondered what it could be. As it neared, the sun rays caught it and it flashed blue.

Kingfisher

I realised it was another Kingfisher! Luckily for me it settled on a bush not far away.

Kingfisher

Just opposite it was a tree trunk on which I could brace my camera and shoot without shake. Thank god for the reach of the 500mm.

Kingfisher

…and thus I shot the Kingfisher, more than a year after I first saw it!

Kingfisher


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