Monday 6 December 2010: It's a Kingfisher. Honest.
Home early from work, most definitely still working from home, but a couple of moments of (possibly unintentional) attempted oneupmanship (by someone else, not me) irked and I popped out for a wander round the park before it got dark.
And there it was. I'd heard tell that Kingfishers occasionally frequented the Figgy Burn, one chap I'd spoken to before, who in 11 years of walking through the park to and from nightshift, told me he'd seen it about 3 times.
The bad weather must be extending the hunting grounds. At first I thought it was a starling, then it hit some light, the blue flashed, and it perched on a branch upstream a little distance away. I stalked. Seeing some people with manic dogs coming the other way I chanced two quick shots on the last-picture-taken remaining setting. ISO and shutter speed low, distance introducing shake, the failing light limiting me. I bumped up the ISO and set about the shutter speed as I slowly walked, but the manic dogs got there before I could and it was gone.
I have a thing about Kingfishers (this is only the 3rd time I've seen them) ever since being bought a wildlife partwork magazine as a kid, the first issue of which had a huge Kingfisher on the cover. It was just this year I saw my first, on May 28th. The capture still eludes me. All the bird photos I've taken, and I have enough conceit to think some of my wildlife shots are actually quite good, and I choose to upload a blue blob with an orange tinge.
An exercise in frustration and joy. The sight is still enough to make me smile without thinking. And I want to convey that into a shot.... One day Kingfisher. One day.