Photographing Kingfishers

Having photographed wildlife initially for fun and now professionally, one comes to realise that this vocation can bring enormous satisfaction.  Even capturing quality images of birdlife in your back garden can be extremely difficult and therefore most rewarding.

Before we embark on wildlife projects, firstly we must remember that it is the

welfare of the animals which is of utmost importance.  This applies, not only

to our intended subject, but also to the other wildlife which we might encounter.  To protect birds whose existence is vulnerable, “Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981” applies.  Within the act species are listed which must be afforded certain levels of protection and this act includes Kingfishers.  The act states that, without a permit, it is illegal to photograph Kingfishers at or near their nests or to disturb their dependent young.

I realised a couple of years ago, that not only did I not have any decent images, I hadn’t even spent any quality time watching this beautiful bird.  So in order to

learn all I could, I spent many hours “surfing” the Internet, researching books

in the local library and discussing the kingfishers behaviour with local Natural History experts. Then, equipped with a pair of binoculars and some subtle clothing, I spent many days walking local rivers and streams building a record of the areas where the local Kingfisher population frequent.  The BBC showed “Halcyon River Diaries” a true masterpiece of wildlife film-making and another great motivator.

The area which I am currently using is some distance from the nesting sites used in previous years but it has a remarkable supply of small fish, hence its popularity.  I also use hides to ensure the birds are oblivious to our presence. Therefore, we are able to witness and record these remarkable birds and not interfere with their normal way of life.