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Kingfishers at their most spectacular.


Every bird has a special moment, a piece of behaviour that raises a few seconds above the ordinary. For most this might be a song or a piece of territorial behaviour, for some it could be the way they feed. For a kingfisher, that blue, zippy streak that flashes down the stream it must surely be the split second it raises itself out of the water after a successful dive for a fish. Diamonds cascade as it emerges, hopefully with a small fish grasping from the long, powerful bill. A few flaps and it raises itself out of the potentially deadly water and ascends to its fishing perch. Without the camera this is stunning in itself but the pure speed deflects the eye from the intimate moments of this superb drama. Fix your camera at a speed of 1/2500 or higher and with a fast frame rate the chances are you will capture, frozen in time that precise point where water, jewels and bird all combine into something magical. 

Last week I ran the diving kingfisher workshop for Natures Hides in Worcs. I loved every minute, even if the sun didn’t shine and the camera had to cope with some ridiculously high ISO’s. Even so the company was great and some of the images, with a bit of work on the computer are quite acceptable.