Showing posts from September, 2017

A frustrating week of waiting

This week I've had a few chances to spend some time in the hide during the evenings and today during the afternoon to chill out.

Its been tough with few visits to the perch this week. There appears to be a male and female Kingfisher visiting the perch. I wonder if its on the edge of both their territories.

I have done some scouting and found more  perch locations and been watching them fish from a distance.

On arrival this afternoon the female was waiting for me. Wish I had arrived earlier. I had to lay down prone on the ground and wait for it to fly off.

Lots of birds on show throughout the week -Little Egrets,  Female Goosanders, Cormorants, Mute Swans, Canadian Geese, Buzzards and Common Sandpipers.

The overhead sky remains populated with Swallows and Martins. I guess there is plenty of insects around early in the autumn and they are stocking up on fuel before migrating next week. I continue to spot Dragonflies around the hide and lots of midges.

Early Morning Kingfisher in the Mist

The last couple of days has been quiet on the river and the Kingfishers are making fewer appearances at the perch. They like to make me wait.

Today just after dawn and early morning mist, I had a visit from a male Kingfisher. He did not stay for long but I was thankful to see him as its always worth the long waits and suffering the cramped muscles and joints.

I think the juveniles are starting to get pushed out but their is definitely more than one bird using this territory at the moment.

Magnificent evening colour

This evening I returned to my hide after  an enforced break for various reasons.

The  sunshine was glorious and all the perch needed was that certain colorful visitor I love to see.

I was not disappointed a female Kingfisher arrived in style on a number of occasions and shone like a feathered jewel in the evening sunshine.

Early birder catches the first Kingfisher

I got up before dawn today and set up my hide just as the first rays of the rising sun shone through the gathering clouds. Rain was forecast and I was determined to get some time in the hide.

Mother nature was kind to me this morning blessing me with several visits from a juvenile Male Kingfisher who was hungry and caught several fish for his breakfast and another Male Kingfisher who was also feeding.

In between the Kings I noticed  an Otter floating by munching on something it had caught. I managed to get some record shots but nothing of any quality. I need a spare camera to have set up on the side for these unplanned for visitors.

Got some great photos today of the Kingfishers they seem to have returned with a vengeance.

Oh Deer me - no Kingfishers this evening

This evening was a classic example of what Wildlife photography can be like. Its a test of patience and endurance at times. I did not have a single visit from the Kingfishers , only the odd passing call. My knees were aching from being immobile for hours.

However whilst quietly waiting I heard a splash and thought it was an otter . I looked through a side hole on my hide and was surprised to see a Deer crossing the river. I desperately tried to dismount my camera off the tripod to move it to the side but by that time, the Deer had crossed and walked up onto the bank. Its the best photo I could get.

I have no idea what type of Deer it is.

I finished the evening with a walk and found a small flock of Spotted Flycatchers that had been joined by a few Long Tailed Tits which were doing a really good job of imitating them catching flies from Willow perches.

Kingfisher facts

Its been a little quiet at the hide on my most recent visits, weather has been poor and I have not had a great deal of time to spend at it either.

So I've been doing some research about my current bird obsession.
Kingfishers have a hard life and a relatively short life span. Many do not survive there first year and beyond that as Adults they tend to last only a couple of years.

They need to eat approximately 65% of their own body weight each day to survive. That is a lot of fish and invertebrates. They require clean water which is clear to see the fish. They have amazing specialized eyes which work well under water. They have a third eye lid which helps them when they dive.

When the water is dirty or rough they suffer as they struggle to see fish. They suffer when there are periods of high water levels. Cold also is a challenge for them and harsh winters there populations can suffer. Mink predation and disturbance is also a problem.

To try and combat the challenges they face they…

Some different visitors this morning

Its amazing the variety of animals that live in or along the river. This morning I watched a fleet of Swans swim by with their signets and then a small flotilla of female Goosander nervously fished in front of the hide.

A Common Sandpiper foraged on the river bank close to the waters edge near my hide. Frustratingly its never in my cameras view so I have been unable to get a photo without disturbing it.

I heard something eating and looked down and watched a Grey Squirrel eating directly in front of me.

Quite a few Kingfishers around but did not visit the perch. Instead I had to make do with a Chiff Chaff for company.

On packing up today what struck me most was how clear the river water was and it was full of fish fry.

The King and Fly

This evening I watched a battle of supremacy for the perch at the hide. A female Kingfisher turned up with the male somewhere in a nearby Willow Tree. She successfully caught , three fish - Bullhead, Perch (?) and Minnow.

All the while she was having to contend with a pair of Spotted Flycatchers who were fluttering about the perch annoying her. She eventually had enough and flew off on a full stomach.