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kingfisher quest

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Old Friday 6th April 2007, 16:15   #1
jontrus
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kingfisher quest

I am new to bird photography and am having some success which is spuring me on but
am currently trying to get a nice photo of a kingfisher and am failing miserably.I have been to local bird conservation areas and although i have seen some in flight and some perched in faraway trees i have not yet had a chance to get a shot within range.I am using
an olympus E500 with a 50-500 sigma lens.Any tips on helping in my 'quest' would be gratefully received, i live in west sussex so any recommendations for this area would also be useful.
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Old Saturday 7th April 2007, 11:57   #2
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Take up fishing lol I have them sitting on the rod at times.
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Old Saturday 7th April 2007, 12:27   #3
mike from ebbw
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Try putting a nice bare branch upright in the water near to where you have seen them.Choose a position in a shallow slow moving part of the lake/river and set a screen or hide up within range.Then basically just wait and over a period of time they should start using the perch providing there are fry in the water.Best of luck,Mike.
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Old Sunday 8th April 2007, 18:35   #4
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Some other advice here on the wildlife watching supplies web site - see the photo tips page http://www.wildlifewatchingsupplies.co.uk/ Similar to what Mike has said - perhaps find a local reserve with ready set up poles near to a hide?

good luck!
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Old Thursday 12th April 2007, 09:05   #5
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Yeah! Go to the lakes / rivers fishermans hut / clubhouse and ask them to tell you where their members have seen K/fishers sitting up. Get there and just wait a while. The stick (an upright with a kink or horizontal perch) in the river (over slower shallow zone) trick works but you need to establish that there's a bird on that stretch. Check the light direction. Try and keep the sun behind you (limits the birds vision on you) and gives you great light on the colours.
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Old Thursday 12th April 2007, 10:10   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jontrus
I am new to bird photography and am having some success which is spuring me on but
am currently trying to get a nice photo of a kingfisher and am failing miserably.I have been to local bird conservation areas and although i have seen some in flight and some perched in faraway trees i have not yet had a chance to get a shot within range.I am using
an olympus E500 with a 50-500 sigma lens.Any tips on helping in my 'quest' would be gratefully received, i live in west sussex so any recommendations for this area would also be useful.
I see a pair every day. You would have to make the trip from Crawley to South London.
PM me if you are interested and I will give you the location.
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Old Thursday 12th April 2007, 14:49   #7
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Hi Jontrus

I'd echo what the others have said about 'fishing perches' ... and hope this is also of help:

1. Try and familiarise yourself with their call - they are quite vocal this time of year and calls will also give you an indication of whether there are breeding pairs in the vicinity (I think Kingfisher are fairly sedentary too, so once you've located a 'regular' pair, it should be easy to anticipate the best place to photograph them from.)

2. In my experience, fresh water areas with lots of trees and shrubs round them are the best for close and prolonged views, as the trees both act as a cover for you and perches for the Kingfisher - scan low overhung branches from about 2-8feet above the water. Take time to sit still, follow any flybys with your eyes/binos and check where it perches - you may not be fast enough with the camera at first but they do like to use the same 'fishing perch'.

3. For sites in Sussex:

a) River Adur - just down river from Little Beeding (in front of the old cement works). I've never failed to see K/F there but viewing is not good and mostly in flight backwards and forwards across the river. They occasionaly use the boats as fishing perches further down river in front of the houseboats at Shoreham.
b) Ivy Lakes, Chichester: Ideal habitat for close views - walk up main path from entering at B2145 towards the caravan park, with Deep Lake on your left. (had one perched just 5 ft away from me on a low overhanging branch last year for several minutes, while i was sitting on bank drinking coffee!)

... there are other sites but those are the best ones I can think of off hand.
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Old Thursday 12th April 2007, 19:29   #8
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Can only echo what the others above have said but would like to add welcome to Bird Forum from another Crawleyite.
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Old Friday 13th April 2007, 14:41   #9
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Not an easy quest you have set for yourself jontruss, but all the more rewarding when you achieve it I should think.

There is a stretch of the River Aire near me that has had a pair on it for years. They disappear for the winter and I saw them last night for the first time this year. I walk it at least once every week and have not yet managed to see one perched for very long before they have seen me. I have tried scanning far ahead as I walk the bank but due I think to the raised embankment with no cover on the side I can walk, all I usually see is them disappearing ahead of me. I can almost guarantee a view of them every visit but have managed no more than a 30 second static view of them in 3 years! The plastic debris hanging in the trees from winter floods gives me many false alarms too.

I think a hide and lots of patience would be my only chance. I had some great close views from a hide at Leighton Moss last year but had no camera with me!

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Old Thursday 19th April 2007, 19:24   #10
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Isn't Kingfisher a schedule 1 bird? If so you should stay away from nesting areas at this time of year unless you have the relevant licence.
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Old Thursday 19th April 2007, 19:53   #11
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I have had no luck in getting a decent shot of a Kingfisher for over a year now.
I have seen literally hundreds on rivers,canals and lakes.
If I don`t have the camera with me they hang about for ages,when I do they will not settle and I end up with a series of blue blurrs.
Last Sunday I saw the same Kingfisher thirteen times along a stretch of the River Kennet and each time it went to perch something or someone disturbed it.I never got a shot.
Still, I now know where it has its favourite perches and will return on a weekday when not so many people are about and set up a hide.
If it was easy it would`nt be fun (or so I keep telling myself )
Good luck and I look forward to seeing your photo when you finally get it.

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Old Thursday 19th April 2007, 22:44   #12
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i nave been trying to get one for a while arrived tonite at the first hide and one landed right in front of us annoyed to only get this snap could have been a good photo if i had taken my time managed three frames and it took off
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Old Friday 20th April 2007, 08:47   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cudyll Bach
Isn't Kingfisher a schedule 1 bird? If so you should stay away from nesting areas at this time of year unless you have the relevant licence.
I don't think anyone's suggested Jontrus should try and find a nest site to take pictures cb. and you certainly don't need to locate the actual nest to know there are breeding birds in a general area of any species. I know of at least one pair that are breeding in a particular area but have no idea of where the actual nest is, however, as said before, they like to use the same perches which not only provides the best photo opportunity but avoids the necessity of intrusion or disturbance. Caution should be taken with all bird species at this time of year anyway, regardless of the species' status.
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Old Friday 20th April 2007, 11:57   #14
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by deborah4
I don't think anyone's suggested Jontrus should try and find a nest site to take pictures cb. and you certainly don't need to locate the actual nest to know there are breeding birds in a general area of any species. I know of at least one pair that are breeding in a particular area but have no idea of where the actual nest is, however, as said before, they like to use the same perches which not only provides the best photo opportunity but avoids the necessity of intrusion or disturbance. Caution should be taken with all bird species at this time of year anyway, regardless of the species' status.

I resorted to this last year and was promtly told by a member on this forum that it was illeagel to go anywhere near a Kingfishers nest/hole.
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Old Thursday 26th April 2007, 18:38   #15
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if you could travel as Far as Stodmarsh Nature Reserve, just outside Canterbury, Kent, then the TURF FIELDS hide (or more commonly known as the Green hide) is always a good place for kingfisher photography, they land on a specifically placed post about 12-15 feet away from the hide on a regular basis. Well worth the extra miles!! I've seen more photos of kingfishers on that post on T'internet than any other kingfisher photo!!! Google kent wildlife and see for yourself, all the best photographers go there, nice comfy and roomy hide for all your gear!!! (Plus loads of Marsh Harriers to snap too!) Good luck. (Only fishing and resting on post pics to be had, no nesting pics as explained above!)
Jude

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Old Sunday 29th April 2007, 10:59   #16
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Now is not a good time for photographing them as already mentioned as it`s the breeding season best too wait until July Kingfishers habitually use the same perch a good idea would be look on this site at Nigel Blake`s tips for photographing this species.

Steve.
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2007, 14:28   #17
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fishborne near chichester - there is a little canal/river behind the bulls head pub (local duck feeding spot but not busy at all) that feeds from dell quay. that is where i go for my kingfisher fix
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Old Thursday 3rd May 2007, 18:27   #18
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Darenth Lakes, Kent. Good spot on a pair of K/fishers. Couple of locations where they always perch.
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 20:32   #19
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I managed to get a few good pics with a not so good camera at slimbridge wwt bit of a trek from liverpool but well worth it there is a hide right opposite the nest site so plenty of oppurtunity good luck!!
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Old Thursday 21st June 2007, 07:20   #20
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Just found this thread, if you are after advice BF is the place to get it but it's a shame that the person asking does not have the courtesy to say thank you to the people that took time out to reply. So I'll do it for him/her, thanks for some handy tips.
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Old Thursday 21st June 2007, 16:18   #21
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I finally managed to get some reasonable shots by waiting at a favourite perching site on Sunday
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 07:49   #22
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I too found this post very informative, many thanks to all the guys who commented.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 16:44   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexf View Post
I resorted to this last year and was promtly told by a member on this forum that it was illeagel to go anywhere near a Kingfishers nest/hole.
How on earth would you know a hole contained
a Kingfishers nest? Walk along the river bank, sit
down have a cup of tea+ snooze " did you see that"?
Now as for a wasp nest, one would notice!

Kind regards,
young Ian.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 18:24   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by young ian View Post
How on earth would you know a hole contained
a Kingfishers nest? Walk along the river bank, sit
down have a cup of tea+ snooze " did you see that"?
Now as for a wasp nest, one would notice!

Kind regards,
young Ian.

I was walking along a river bank and saw a kingfisher flying down stream towards me so I watched the blue flash approach and it swung into a hole in the bank, right in front of me.
A few seconds later a female came out of the hole and as I had my camera on me I took some pics!
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 18:25   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
I finally managed to get some reasonable shots by waiting at a favourite perching site on Sunday
Nice shots!
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