Sunday, 15 July 2012

Kingfishers at Rye Meads

Rye Meads is a great place to see Kingfishers. There is a hide which, through a stroke of originality, is called the Kingfisher Hide which overlooks a pool with an artificial Kingfisher bank built into the side. The adult pair are currently feeding young in the nest and are therefore very easy to see as they fly to and fro with fish.

As I made my way to the hide I called in to the Tern and Gadwall Hides which overlook a couple of large lagoons. Here there is usually plenty of opportunity to photograph large water birds at fairly close range and today was no exception. The first candidate was a Common Tern which perched on a pole not far from the hide.

Next on the list was a smart Black-headed Gull which chose to sit on an overhanging willow tree rather than a dreary old post or raft, which provided a much better composition all round.

Then along the track to the Kingfisher Hide I came across a most unusual sight, a Green Woodpecker sitting in a tree. They normally spend most of their time feeding on the ground and its presence was only given away by a rather half-hearted yaffle.

Finally I arrived at the Kingfisher Hide and, along with a couple of other photographers, settled down to wait for the next delivery of fish. When the adults arrive back at the pool they normally settle on a post sticking out of the middle of the pool to have a look round before proceeding to the nest hole. This few seconds allows the perfect opportunity to rattle off a few shots, as they fly straight off when they emerge from the hole.

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