I’ve set myself up with a small hide which overlooks a quiet stretch of private river. From the riverbank I’ve positioned a perch which the kingfishers now use on a daily basis. Every morning they sit on the perch watching for movement in the water, when they see a fish they dive straight down into the water and often bring a stickleback or other small fish back up. They have an interesting method of killing the fish they catch, they hit the fish against the perch to stun the fish and then swallow it whole. I’ve recorded footage of the kingfisher in action, you can watch it at the following link.
Every time I see these birds they take my breath away, they are such amazing colours and it’s a great experience to sit just a couple of metres away from them and to observe them in their natural habitat.
This year a couple of kingfishers have already paired up and are sharing the stretch of riverbank where I photograph. They will be very busy over the forthcoming months rearing their young. Kingfishers nest in a burrow of up to 1 metre in length which they excavate with their beak. At the end of this tunnel is a cavity which they will lay their eggs and raise the young on a bed of fish bones and pellets. Typically, between five and seven eggs are laid which both the male and female take a role in incubating. The eggs will hatch after around three weeks and the young will stay in the nest for another 3 – 4 weeks. When they are large enough they will come to the burrow entrance to be fed by the parents. Due to the sensitive nature of these birds I have positioned my hide around half a kilometre away to avoid any disturbance. Once inside my hide they are not even aware of my presence and will often sit for anywhere up to 15 minutes watching the world go by.
As the year goes on I’ll keep adding more photographs of these stunning birds, I have set up a limited number of kingfisher photography workshops which are selling out quickly. For more information please visit here.