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Morning Dog Walk: Kingfisher On My New Perch (Video)

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The weather is a little unseasonable currently, it’s a little cooler than it should, although it does reach low 30s in the afternoon, the mornings and nights are, lets say fresh. Unfortunately, it comes with my biggest frustration, total cloud cover.

I have a new Kingfisher perch that I hoped to spend a session at this morning, but no, total cloud cover this morning. It didn’t last long, there’s not a cloud in the sky now but of course, the best light of the day has gone. In the next couple of days, normal weather is due to return and hopefully, I can get out at sunrise again.

Anyway, although no session today, I decided to take a look whilst out with the dogs and, as usual, could hear the high-pitched whistle of the Kingfishers. I sat on the river bank about 10 meters away from the perch and within about a minute a juvenile came and sat on the perch in full view of myself, Wally and Lupi. Juveniles are a little more braver than the adults and this guy really didn’t care, as you can see on the video, it is even bobbing its head which is used to gauge the distance to its prey. We sat and watched for about 5 minutes before it decided not to dive and fly to a nearby tree.

Sorry for the quality, but this was shot on my Samsung Galaxy S9+ smartphone and I used the digital zoom. I am looking forward to some cloud-free mornings where I can bring you some shots. This perch has been designed that I can hopefully get some flight shots too.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


Another Shot From The “Dark Perch”

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Just another shot of the juvenile male Common Kingfisher from a few days ago at my “Dark Perch“. This time he’s got his back facing me showing off his typical “go-faster stripe.”

I have a new location ready to go, clouds depending, I’ll be there in the morning, not sure how they’ll react to this one as I have to use my pop-up hide and not sure if they will be happy around it.

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Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Male) - Guarda-rios (juvenil macho) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/640sec, f/11, ISO450Continue reading >>

Young Kingfishers Are Now Out Of The Nests

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It’s taken a long-time this year to get these particular shots of the Kingfishers which started many months ago, originally with the adults.

I have been trying to get very dark backgrounds to create an almost studio-like image. I appreciate that these style of photographs are not to everyone’s taste, but the idea was to create a contrast to bring out the detail in the feathers.

The problem I have had this year is that every time I set the scene, the river has dried out before I manage to capture any shots. However, I found an area where the river has pooled and it seems to be a popular dive spot. This scene has been set for 3 days, however, every morning since has been cloudy. I was awake at 6am this morning and again, the skies were unseasonably cloudy. Slightly later, there seemed be a large gap in the cloud cover so I headed down to the river and got lucky before the cloud re-appeared.

There was a pair of juveniles at the spot, unfortunately, the female didn’t come out into the light, but the male was very happy on the perch. The light still wasn’t great, but good enough even though I was shooting with a slightly slower shutter speed to what I was hoping for. Luckily, he stayed still enough for long enough!

The big giveaway that this is a young male is the legs, you’ll notice that they are not bright coloured, adult Kingfishers have very bright coloured legs.

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Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Male) - Guarda-rios (juvenil macho) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/640sec, f/8, ISO500Continue reading >>

Purposely Underexposing A Shot

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I’m a fan of underexposing shots for many different reasons and this was one of them.

You may remember my post from Friday with a Kingfisher watching me whilst I was scouting the river (Read Post). Well once I took the shot, I dialled in -3EV, yes, underexposed the shot by 3 stops.

It was to see if I could hide the messy background and also just expose the areas where late sun was reaching. Then a little bit of work in Lightroom to bring out those lighter spots and the resulting photo is a much nicer atmospheric shot.

Just to clarify, this is a technique I only use when I want to create something a little different. Normally, getting the exposure right to start with is a good plan, although I usually underexposed slightly to avoid highlight clipping.


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An Afternoon At The River Looking For Opportunities

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I was a new location on the river that we discovered a few days ago and was looking for options for some closeup Kingfisher shots, the Kingfishers are getting really brave now.

Although I wasn’t there to take photos, I did take the camera down. Here is just a quick shot of a male Kingfisher sitting in the tree watching me, then just as I was leaving, Iberian Magpies where coming down for a late afternoon bath.


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Morning Dog Walk: Today It’s All About Wally And Sort Of The Kingfishers

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I have been so busy the last week, either shooting Real Estate or stuck in my studio processing Real Estate photos. Last night we decided to head into the village for some well-earned beverages and Wally was looking really sad……..

….he’d clearly been missing his daddy. We came back last night and he was like my shadow, it kept nudging me to get under my arm for a cuddle.

So this morning we headed out to the river for a big splash about, I took some photos and today, I’m going to spend most of the day with him! The river level is dropping quickly and will soon dry out leaving large pools. It’s been an issue for my Kingfisher perch because every time I place it in location, before I get a chance to photograph them, the river is too shallow. This morning we wandered further upstream and have located a place I thought was perfect for the Kingfishers. The fish are considerably larger and the river will pool here, soon enough from behind an overhanging tree I heard a splash followed by the high-pitched call of a Kingfisher. I watched it fly away complete with a fish. 5 minutes later it (or another one) returned. So yet again, I will be relocating the perch in hope of some close-up shots.

Here is Wally splashing around enjoying life, as usual!

Don’t forget about my Dogs-In-Nature Photo Shoots capture your own best friend in stunning quality as above!

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Wally Keeping Cool In The Heat
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