Dawn Marsh Harrier

Dawn Marsh Harrier

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Flirting with my new bird.

With my fairly modest camera and lens combo, I've never managed to capture the full beauty of the glorious Kingfisher as they are usually already disappearing by the time you spot them. Or if they're perched you just can't get close before they vanish in an electric blue and tangerine blur. So imagine my surprise when walking along the stream at Desborough Rec Ground High Wycombe yesterday to look at a job, and one such little gem dropped out of a tree beside me, caught a fish and perched back up in the same tree. I was working so didn't have the camera round my neck but I always have it in the van for such eventualities and the van was only 50 yards away. I backed off slowly for a bit and then hastened back to the van for the camera. I wasn't too confident it would still be there when I got back but it was. Knowing how skittish these birds tend to be, I didn't want to push my luck and get too close, so I stealthily crept up behind a large London Plain and discretely poked my lens round the trunk. She behaved nicely for me as I fired off a few shots.

We made eye contact and it was apparent that she knew I was there so I was amazed at what happened next. She took off and flew towards me, perching in a closer tree. Heart rate increasing I clicked away on the shutter.

Suddenly 2 dogs came racing down the garden across the stream from me, loudly and aggressively protesting their disapproval at my presence. Surely this would spell the end of my close encounter.Oh no, she responded by flying into the tree directly between me and the snarling hounds. She then casually plunged into the stream and came up with a tasty minnow which she set about battering to death on her branch.

Next the owner of the still barking mutts came down the garden shouting at them to shut up. This would surely be the final straw. Well the lovely lady Kingfisher couldn't care less. On seeing me the guy demanded to know what I was doing in the park with a zoom lens. Sadly, in this day and age it was a reasonable question. I explained that I was photographing a Kingfisher, to which he replied " oh, the blue and orange bird. That's always here." Reassured he wished me good luck and left me to it. Incredibly, there in the tree a few yards away was still the Kingfisher.

Finding myself with a spare 20 minutes this afternoon I couldn't resist paying another visit. I walked the same stretch of stream but a pair of Grey Wagtails were the best thing on offer.

Then suddenly, almost as if jealous of the attention I was paying the wags, she came sweeping low down the stream, perched in a bush and stared straight at me.

Distant compared to yesterdays encounter but when do Kingfishers come to see you. I was running out of time but she did me the honour of posing from various angles before I had to leave.

No doubt I wont be able to resist the opportunity to flirt further with this stunning little tease and will be sneaking out to meet her again soon. A romantic fish supper maybe.

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