Kingfishers on the river bank
I'd noticed in yesterday's weather forecast that some sunshine was expected this morning which gave me the notion of a trip to the river bank. The River Frome is rushing at present with all the runoff from the snow raising the level and it is our nearest river being only a few hundred yards away.
The day did dawn with sunshine and my notion became a plan. I headed down to Bowbridge where I could walk along the footpath to my usual and preferred location at Capel's Mill, where the river flows through the ruins under the arches of the railway viaduct.
It was gorgeous and not too cold as I sat down on a big stone beside the mill race. I expected to see the white-throated dippers, but was greeted by a wagtail singing its head off from a rock in the middle of the river to a nearby mate on the bank.
I wondered as I gazed downstream if the kingfishers were around. My observation of white droppings close to their regular haunt on the opposite bank suggested that they might nesting there again. So I just sat and waited.
I looked up towards the shrubs on the bank but didn't notice any birds there. But a couple of minutes later, suddenly I saw this kingfisher on this favoured branch, which hangs out over the river, at a height about six feet above the river's level. This position is in quite deep shade so is hard to photograph and is a bit far away from my camera so I've had to crop it heavily. It flew off soon after and I returned to waiting but with a happy heart as any view of kingfishers always makes me happy.
About ten minutes later I noticed a blurry blue colour in the same area and pointed my camera to grab a few snaps just in case. As it happens there were two kingfishers chattering to each other from behind these holly leaves. They stayed for several minutes before one of them flew down, and then up towards the nest which lies behind the holly. My pictures weren't as sharp or as bright as this one, although if I could add extras I would certainly submit at least four varied shots of them.
What a delightful morning. A cold wind blew up and I left about thirty minutes later without seeing them again nor the dippers, but I shall return in my quest to get a 'good' shot of this wonderful bird. Given the light I may have to go to another location, but having this spot so close to home makes me feel very lucky.
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III