A Kingfisher at last
Now that the Barn Owl season is over it was time to seek another subject. I had frequently noticed a Kingfisher flying up and down the adjacent drain and knew that at least a few had made it through the long, harsh winter. I sat for a couple of hours one evening hoping to see them perch at North Marsh but left disappointed. Annoyingly, I had heard a Kingfisher as I approached the hide but it flew off just as I very gently opened the shutter. Note to self — next time take a photograph through the glass before you open the window. Still, patience should be in the heart of every Wildlife photographer. What I needed was an advantage in order to narrow the odds. That is why a little research often brings results.
Yesterday morning before breakfast, I studied the weather for the day, paying particular attention to the radar and wind direction. The forecast was for thunderstorms during the early evening and that could be fun. The heaviest rain was due between 19:00 and 20:00 so that only left an hour of light before sunset. I set off around 18:00 and arrived at North Marsh hide around 19:00. Just in time, as the heavens really did open and the rain was torrential. I sat with the window open listening to the sound of the rain as the sky lit up with flashes of lightening. One loud clap of thunder nearly made me jump from my seat. Thank goodness for the rubber floor mats in the hide. Around 20:00 the show was over and the rain stopped and I breathed a sigh of relief.
I waited and listened. It had been last November since I had photographed a Kingfisher at North Marsh. Suddenly, it was there! Perched just in front of me was a stunningly beautiful female Kingfisher. It only stayed for about thirty-seconds but that was enough time for me to fire-off about ten frames. Phew! A few moments later, the surface of the water turned a beautiful magenta as the sun gradually sunk below the horizon. It certainly wasn’t my best Kingfisher photograph but it’s one that I shall remember for a very long time. The walk back through ‘D’ reservoir woods was magical. The rich, earthy smell of the undergrowth, huge black slugs on the path and a wonderful hedgehog that curled up into a ball as I overtook it. I even suspected that the local black rabbit gave me a wink as I walked by. Time for a pint!