About a week ago now I decided I wanted to begin a project on Kingfishers for the autumn/winter as I knew it would be very challenging and would allow me to push my photography forward. I began by simply looking on Google maps for rivers a short distance from my house. I noticed one which was around a 5 minute cycle ride away so I went there to check it out. I knew what I was looking for: clear water, not too deep but deep enough, good supply of fish and very importantly little dog walkers.
When I got to the site the first thing I did was look straight down into the river, I could see the bottom around 1-2 foot down, I then saw around 6 minnows swimming around. Minnows are small fish which Kingfishers love - things were looking good. I walked downstream in search of any perches leaning out into the water and I saw a few which seemed to be at a good height and strong enough for the birds.
I came back the next day with my hide hoping to see an actual Kingfisher. I waited for around half an hour before I saw a flash of blue and there it was in front of my eyes a Kingfisher, I'd never seen one before in my life so this was really special for me. I then knew that this was quite obviously a decent Kingfisher site.
I have been going there daily for the past 4 days now whenever I have a spare couple of hours (usually after college). Everyday I see the Kingfisher and I think that its an adult male as it has an all black beak and no white tip at the end of it. There is also another Kingfisher on the river but I don't see it as often and haven't been close enough to see if its male or female.
Screenshot from clip of the adult male (Canon 60D + Sigma 150-500mm)
I have seen it hunting on a few occasions however due to the recent rain we've had the river it running high and the water is not clear at the moment so his attempts haven't went well so I haven't actually seen him catch a fish yet. I did manage to film the Kingfisher diving off of its perch the other day though. (see below)
The orange blur is the Kingfisher (screenshot from film)
I'll be updating my blog soon when I get some more footage and I am also going to begin taking some stills when it becomes more reliable and I know some of it's favoured perches. Watch this space.