Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Loder Valley NR

Standard "Kingfisher on stick" shot
A couple of days off work; a rare luxury in the life of a mortgage slave. Tuesday sees me at a SWT-run Wildlife and Farming day... so I figured an extra-long weekend would give me a chance to pursue a bird I've never quite managed a decent image of - the Kingfisher.

My timing, unfortunately, was off. Speaking to a fellow glutton-for-punishment in the hide (who kept me company for five long, cold hours) it seems the birds were quite active at the end of last week, when she had managed to shoot the male and female together. As things transpired, all I had to show for the day were 11 very similar images, bursted in the space of a few seconds. One measly showing as the pair swapped shifts at the nest indicated that the female has laid since Friday, and they are now rotating shifts on their coming brood. I left at 4pm without another glimpse since the sole sighting at around midday. They'll incubate the eggs for three weeks or so, then the action should pick up again as both parents scramble to keep the young fed. I'll pay another visit at the end of April when there should be more frequent showings. It's not ideal - I'd prefer a subject in a more natural setting and doing something other than sitting on a twig. But it's a start, and will give me a chance to get to know the bird until I can locate one of the little blighters that I attempted to track down last year (and found nothing but the occasional flash of azure zooming past me) - without worrying about stumbling on territory around the nest and falling foul of the law.

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