Young Kingfishers Are Now Out Of The Nests

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
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Purposely Underexposing A Shot

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

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

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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Tiddlers….!

Whenever I have placed a perch in the river to attract a Kingfisher it has worked amazingly well. However, my recent attempts have been in unsuccesful. While I’ve waited paitently hidden on the river bank I have seen them just fly straight past up and down stream. It then occured why…..

NO FISH! The river seemed to be completely empty of any “Tiddler” sized fish, the food of the Kingfisher. I don’t understand the life-cycle of seasonal rivers but it was enough for me to be slightly concerned. Others have suggested that the warmer weather will bring them out and they were right!

Yesterday was the first real (almost) hot day in the Algarve with temperatures not only exceeding mid-20s, but also the sun’s angle is now high enough to make it very strong. So, I wandered down to the river this morning and it has LOTS of tiddlers, what happened next was an amazing surprise!


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