Monthly Archives: July 2009

River Dove Kingfishers

Since 2006 I have been trying to get some half-decent shots of the Kingfisher population on the River Dove in Derbyshire.  I have always loved Kingfishers, ever since I first saw one when I was very young, down by the River Trent. The blue and orange colours are stunning and when they fly past you at high speed, they are something to behold.

Here this Kingfisher is in the traditional pose.

Kingfisher colours vary somewhat – juveniles and young being a more turquoise than azure. They also show as a variety of colours and shades, depending on the lighting conditions – early/late sun, mid-day and cloudy/overcast conditions.

One day I was out there and the weather turned quite nasty – I mean lots of rain. Birds behave differently in the rain, as though they almost enjoy it – well it was the middle of an English Summer!

Getting Kingfishers in a dive takes a great deal of planning and a site where you can set up and leave your hide/cover for days, without risk of disturbance. I have not found such a site yet, so I have rely on the birds visiting me when I choose to visit them – lots of days with no sightings!

When a Kingfisher makes the dive the nictitating membrane activates to protect the birds eyes. This is seen visibly in many other birds – the Dipper is an example .

This bird was clinging onto the branch for dear life, on a very windy day.

I plan to re-visit some of the River Dove haunts this spring, although I think numbers will be down due to the very cold winter we have just had.

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