The Kingfisher

On a recent trip to Southwest Scotland I had the opportunity to photograph one of my favorite birds the Kingfisher.

A friend has set up a hide on the bank of a river near the coast where a number of birds visit each day giving me the chance for some great photo’s. I must admit it was a pretty uncomfortable hide. Being close to the coast at high tide  each day the hide was submerged under water which meant the inside was always cold,wet and very muddy.

However once a Kingfisher arrived you soon forgot the conditions.

Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis. Female bird on moss covered branch

This lovely female was the first to arrive. The male and female can be told apart by the orange color under the bill on the female where as the male has a black or dark bill.

Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis. A male kingfisher on a Private Fishing sign post.

This male made a nice composition on a nearby sign.

After five or six hours in the hide the light began to fade and I was quite pleased to be able to get out and stretch my legs.

Here are a few of the images I managed during the day.

Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis. Male bird on lichen covered branch

Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis. with fish on mossy branch

Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis. on branch

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Blue Tit

One of the most difficult birds to photograph at the feeders is the Blue Tit. They seldom perch for long and are so quick by the time you have pressed the shutter on the camera they have moved.

 

blue tit, cyanistes caeruleus on lichen covered branch

One tip I have learnt is to focus your lens  on the branch you expect them to land on and keep your eye in the viewfinder. A quick reaction is the only way. Take your eye off the ball and you will miss it.

Blue Tits as all birds need to be in good condition by the start of the breeding season. The energy and nutrients the extra food at the feeders provide during the winter help keep the birds in good condition so they are able to provide enough food for their offspring.

Here are a few images I have managed to take over the last few weeks.

 

Two Blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, on branch

 

blue tit,cyanistes caeruleus on mossy branch

 

Blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus, on branch

 

blue tit, cyanistes caeruleus

The Goldfinch

One of the first things I wanted to do when I moved to Wales was to establish a bird feeding station in the paddock to see and photograph the various species that visit.

Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis

I started putting out Sunflower hearts and Nyger seeds along with Peanuts and Fat balls. By far the favorite with all the birds turned out to be the sunflower hearts.

There is now  a constant flow of visitors everything from Blue Tits,Great Tits,Nuthatch,Coal Tit,Siskin,Robin and Goldfinch. The greater number being by far the Goldfinch.

Here are a few of the images i have taken so far.

 

 

Goldfinch- Carduelis carduelis on a tree branch  in the rain

Goldfinch- Carduelis carduelis taking off from bramble stem

 

Goldfinch,Carduelis carduelis in flight

 

Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis