Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

Where to photograph Kingfishers?

Kingfisher, originally uploaded by Tony McLean.

I have had several enquiries lately about photographing Kingfishers. I must admit that I am blessed here in East Yorkshire with several good locations. Now I must confess, up until eighteen months ago, I had never seen a Kingfisher never mind photographed one.

All that changed about a year ago when I got seriously interested (some may say obsessed) with wildlife photography. My first photograph of a Kingfisher was so far away that it looked like a ‘full-stop’ on an A4 sheet of paper. Gradually, I became more aware of their natural habitat (usually fast flowing streams with plenty of minnows or small fish) and most importantly, their signature call. If you visit the following link: Kingfisher where you can hear their call and read some very useful information.

So where to find these beautiful birds? Well, I’m not going to give away all my secrets and please remember that they are a Schedule I protected species in the U.K and their intentional disturbance can lead to a hefty fine. Great advice can be found using Google and many members of the U.K. ornithology sites will give helpful details. Anglers who sit on the riverbank all day can be especially helpful and so can farmers and maybe the local photographic club (well maybe not!).

Half the fun of wildlife photography is in the research. Look for low hanging, horizontal branches over a river and the tell-tale signs of bird lime and scraping of the bark. Be prepared to wait and listen. During the raising of their young, Kingfishers are active from dawn until dusk. You will nearly always hear the call of a Kingfisher before you actually see one and your first sight may be a brief flash of neon blue as the bird shoots past inches above the water at twenty m.p.h. I’ll post some more on equipment and technique at a later date. Have fun and good luck!

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One thought on “Where to photograph Kingfishers?

  1. Hi Tony,

    thanks a lot for sharing with us this very useful information.

    I am looking forward to hear more about the recommend gear and, moreover, about the technique to use to take beautiful Kingfisher shots like yours !!!



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