UK Kingfishers are small bright blue and orange birds usually seen flying fast over slow moving or still water. They hunt fish from riverside perches and occasionally hover above the water’s surface. Kingfishers are amber listed because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe.
The RSPB estimate that there are between 5000 and 8000 breeding pairs in the UK. They are very vulnerable to hard winters and also to any sort of watercourse pollution.
We started looking for good locations a few years ago and at first had no luck getting close to these elusive little birds. We heard of a location near Gateshead in Northumberland, where there was a purpose-built hide where a kingfisher regularly visited and which afforded relative close viewing.
The above photograph has taken at this location, after many visits with no success, using a Nikon D3 and Nikon 500VR lens but a reduced size sensor APS-C type camera, like a Nikon D40 / D300 / D7000 or a Canon 30d / 40d / 50d etc with a 300mm lens will be sufficient if the Kingfisher lands on this perch. Sometimes everything just works out and on this occasion the Kingfisher flew straight to this close perch and the light that day was great. He stayed around for about 5 minutes allowing me to get quite a few shots of him.What I also like about this location is the ability to totally diffuse the simple complimentary background behind the subject.
It’s shots like this that makes sitting for hours in an often very cold hide worthwhile for me and makes you appreciate the possibilities for wildlife photography in our Country
I dont want to give out this location but if anyone wants to know where it is, if you leave a comment and contact me I will send you the information via email.
This shot and many others are available to purchase, as prints or digital downloads, in various sizes, from my website galleries.
thanks for reading and until next time
Colin Carter ARPS