My Kingfisher Year

As this year draws to a close, and Kingfishers are unlikely to feature in the next few weeks, it seems an appropriate time to summarise my efforts this year photographing this enigmatic beautiful little bird.

Although there are Kingfishers local to me, I have made the long journey up to Galloway several times this year, the home of Mr Alan Mcfadyen and the superb hide set up he has to photograph the Kingfishers. His hide is set up right on the bank of the tidal River Tarff, a tributary of the River Dee that flows into the Solway Estuary at Kirkcudbright….. Galloway is a truly beautiful part of Scotland and has so much to offer the Wildlife photographer.

I have never met anyone quite like Alan, his passion for the local Wildlife is without question, and especially Kingfishers, in the area they are breeding well, but much of this is down to Alans commitment and love of the birds.

There has been a lot of ill informed and slanderous rubbish been written and spoke of Alans set up, the birds are NOT diving into a glass tank as many believe, he has a large reflection pool set up right next to the river, the area the kingfishers dive is totally lined with soft rubber and there is absolutely no danger to the birds. The pair of birds who hold this territory have raised three broods this year, not unheard of but it says a lot about the health and vitality of Alans set up as the birds use it regularly.

I had quite a few images in mind this year that I wanted to achieve, and by and large I cannot be disappointed with what I achieved.

One thing I have longed to witness, never mind photograph is the ‘Fish Pass’ where the male passes a fish to the female, all part of the courting and breeding process.

A bit closer to home I took what I think is one of my favourite images of the year, in dire conditions, heavy rain and poor light, this beautiful Kingfisher just brings the whole scene to life. I look forward to my next session out photographing what are one of my favourite birds.

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