Sunday, March 30

So near and yet so very far!

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust property - Potteric Carr.

As we venture into each of the many hides we always hope that this will be the time when we see something special. There is one bird that seems to evade us wherever we go. We have seen fleeting glimpses of it streaking by but one of our ambitions is to manage to take a photo.

Entering one hide we were greeted by an excited occupant telling us that the bird in question was sitting on a banking by a yellow flower. The banking in question was in the middle of the lake. It's the mound in the far distance below.
Below I've cropped the photo to help point out the banking.
Can you see the bird yet? No? Let's try move in a little closer.
How about that?  You may be able to spot two white objects on the left of the mound. The bird is just above and to the right. To help he is sitting where the yellow spot is in the photo below.
Time to zoom in a bit. Now can you spot him?
Let's try even closer.
And closer still.
If it hadn't been for the binocular sporting occupants of the hide we would never have noticed the kingfisher. To be honest we are lazy bird watchers. We pop our heads out of hides and if nothing comes up and taps us on the shoulder we move on! The object of our attention sat waiting patiently allowing us enough time to take lots and lots of photo. But waiting for what? 

Then out from a crevice in the banking came kingfisher number two. After some toing and froing the pair sat on a nearby bush. The red dot in the earlier photo shows the location.

Through the zoomed camera lens, we could just make out the male offering his mate a fish. 
She didn't seem interested so he decided to eat it himself.
The photo below has been cropped from the previous photo. 
There was then a flurry of inevitable activity after which one of the birds flew back into the nesting hole leaving the other to sit and ponder for a while.
The quality of the photos isn't good but considering the distance we were just happy to have managed to get anything that vaguely resembled a kingfisher. The bird sat still for ages - if only they had been closer we would have been able to get some fantastic shots, Still something to aspire to!

26 comments:

  1. Wow, great piccies - kingfishers are so elusive! They are also quite noisy - I first heard one, then saw it darting down a stream. Trouble is, can't remember the exact location of the stream as we were stretching our legs on a car journey, and didn't make a note on the map!

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    1. Haven't heard one VM - they could have been calling loudly but at that distance we wouldn't have heard anything. Previously we had one seen flashes on blue or orange depending on which way the bird was flying.

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  2. Amazing, really nice shots!

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  3. The last thing I expected was a kingfisher Sue...thanks for sharing...I think giving the distance these are amazingly clear shots. will you go back to see if you can capture babies later in the year?? Oh and I am now going to troll back through and catch up with all I have missed with you this month...I'll try not to comment too much but no promises..lol. Of course to remedy that you could start writing rubbish posts...lol

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    1. Comment as much as you like, Tanya. We are going to Potteric quite frequently now we have joined the Yorkshire wildlife Trust so who know we may be lucky now we know where they are. Martyn took a bit of x rated video that he may share soon too.

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  4. A wonderful opportunity! I'd be very happy if I had taken those photos. I've been exploring my new camera a bit today, but I think it will be a while before I'm expert with it...

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  5. Well done Sue not many people are lucky enough to see one Kingfisher let alone a breeding pair was that the maximum extent of the zoom? amazing optics these days

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    1. It was the extent of the 60x optical zoom. I did take some at 120x digital but they were more grainy especially being hand held and I don;t think I kept any of those.
      . The birds photos were set at 16mpx and croppped.

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    2. Should have added that the view was from just one photo cropped no zoom was used for that.

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  6. They're like buses, nothing for ages and then along come two. There's kingfishers about at the property where we stay in Cornwall, Mick's seen them but I haven't. There's four fishing lakes there so I suppose it's a good place for a bit of a feed. I bet you'll be lucky when you visit Potteric Carr now you know where to look for them.

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    1. Maybe at least whilst they are breeding, Jo. You do need to know where to look or you would have had no chance. You couldn't see anything with the naked eye.

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  7. Fantastic, it's a great triumph to photograph a kingfisher, let alone two. Such beautiful birds.

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    1. They are lovely and so much smaller than you would expect CJ

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  8. Your kingfisher seems much more colourful than our North-American belted kingfisher, but it seems the same shape and the same size.

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    1. Often all people see of a kingfisher is a flash of turquoise or orange as it streaks across water, Alain.

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  9. They are amazing shots Sue, considering the distance. What a great place to visit. We used to go to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge when we lived closer, I miss it greatly.

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    1. We are hoping to visit Slimbridge soon, Jessica - any recommended spots as it looks huge?

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  10. Great shots Sue, and the birds are just sitting there posing for you!

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    1. Now we need them to come closer so we can get a crisper shot, Helene - never satisfied.

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  11. How very very lucky you were to see them.xxx

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    1. We were Snowbird - that to the people already in the hide.

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  12. That's great to see 2 kingfishers!

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  13. You lucky girl! What a treat - thank you for sharing.

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