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Friday, 10 November 2017

Back With The Kingfishers - Autumn, 2017

I really did think, when I published a Kingfisher post three weeks ago and said that I thought it would be "my last Kingfisher post, for this year at least", that that would be the case.

On 30th October, I visited the same Kingfisher location because it can be good for other interesting birds and unexpectedly found a Kingfisher in attendance. I couldn't resist a few more photos of Kingfisher as it was a reasonably bright day. Here are a few from that session.

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) (male) - Leicestershire
The main interest here during that session was, however, the Water Rail. Unfortunately, although this showed for a while, it remained well-tucked into the phragmites and I only managed a record shot which confirmed the bird by its bill and a small section of its back.

On 2nd November I returned in the hope of seeing the Water Rail, but it didn't show. It was a dull day and the Kingfisher showed again, so I took some more photos although the lack of light made photography difficult for most of the time.

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) (male) - Leicestershire
On 6th November, it was a relatively bright day, and in considering where I should go I settled for a place near home, but in Derbyshire rather than my own county of Leicestershire. The reason for choosing this place was that it can be good for 'water birds', but also good for passerines. I'd ruled out the Kingfisher location on the basis that I'd like to see something different.

Having parked my car and set off on foot, I found the sight of a Magpie perched on top of the head of a particularly hairy beast to be an amusing sight.

Magpie (Pica pica) - Derbyshire
Arriving at the first viewing platform, I found some distant ducks, geese, and grebes, but nothing to get me excited, until towards me flew - a Kingfisher!! It briefly alighted on a phragmites stem which didn't bear its weight, and instantly flew back up the channel and out of sight.

The next two platforms didn't reveal any more than the first, and I then ended up at the hide, which was still under construction when I last visited. I was greeted with the information that Kingfisher had been showing well and frequently!

The window seats were relatively full, so I sat at the back. When Kingfisher was first spotted in the far distance, I was kindly given access to a window and pointed at the bird. It was too far away and somewhat obscured for a worthwhile photo.

Later it came a little closer and I managed a shot that was still somewhat obscured.

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) (male) - Derbyshire
After a while, the lady who occupied the prime seat departed, and I moved into that position. I did not have to wait long before the Kingfisher came quite close, but it was behind vegetation. With patience it was possible to get a slightly clearer shot when the breeze moved the vegetation aside. It was a pity that a totally clear shot wasn't possible as the light by then was gorgeous!

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) (male) - Derbyshire
It soon departed, but came back again a short while later to a place that was a little further away, but relatively unobstructed. Sadly this place was in shade.

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) (male) - Derbyshire
From this end of the hide I also had three very brief (about one second) views of a Water Rail as it flew across a 2 metre wide patch of water from one set of phragmites to another. I missed getting a shot each time.

The only other photos I took were of a very distant Common Snipe - not worth including here.

I gladly gave up my seat to newcomers to the hide, and set off back to see if I could find an owl - I did, but didn't get any photos as it was too dark and my car, in which I was sitting, was facing in the wrong direction anyway.

At this point in time I have absolutely no idea what my next blog post will feature.

Thank you for dropping by