Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Verulamium Kingfisher

4th February 2014

I needed to visit a shop in St Albans and therefore, as the forecast was for a sunny day, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone (metaphorically of course) and visit the Verulamium Kingfisher on my way. The River Ver flows through Verulamium Park and has been home to Kingfishers for a number of years, but this year has been particularly special. For some reason one of the females is particularly tame and will sit in a tree fishing just six yards away from the constant stream of people walking along the footpath next to the river. I am sure you could get closer, but the width of the river prevents that from happening.

I arrived on site expecting to be the only photographer there, but word had obviously got round and I found that I was just one of eight. To make things worse the sky was overcast rather than sunny as forecast, and there was no sign of the Kingfisher. The prospects did not look good. However, I decided to give it a couple of hours and settled in along with the other photographers.

During a stroll up the footpath I could hear a Kingfisher calling just behind the trees lining the river, where there is a little backwater at the bottom of a garden. The Kingfisher eventually flew into sight but was at least 30 yards away and partly obscured by trees. However, after about half an hour she duly obliged and flew out of the backwater onto the main river and started to fish right in front of the assembled crowd, and for the icing on the cake the sun came out. I managed to rattle off 400 shots over the next half an hour and a selection of the best is given below. A truly amazing experience!!

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