Bulrush + Bushnell + patience = Kingfisher!
About a month ago, I decided to set a new perch for the Kingfishers at YewView. I had got some super Bushnell trail cam footage from a series of other perches I had set up, but fancied something different. If was more difficult to set a Bulrush (actually, I have been reliably informed that this is Reedmace, which is often (incorrectly) known as Bulrush!) at the desired distance for perfect focus and at an angle that would entice the kingfishers to use it.
The male has used it a few times, but either the positioning was not quite right, or the very damp conditions have meant that there has been condensation on the Bushnell lens. Every week, I make slight adjustments and hope for decent light and an obliging Kingfisher!
This last week, two females have started visiting the wildlife pond. I also have a wired camera on a post from which they like to hunt. The females have an orange lower mandible and are easier to tell apart than the males are. Sometimes the amount of orange differs, but in this case, I have one female with a quite distinctive pale marking on the rear of her head that the other female does not have.
I really like this clip… you can just see her in the background, uniting from the reeds. You will see a splash in the water, as she dives, catches a fish, then brings it back to the post to eat! Make sure you watch it in HD!
This lovely clip shows her preening… her colour changes completely, depending on the sun on her. In some lights, she is pale blue, in other lights, an aquamarine… just stunning!
Back to the Bulrush! As always, one of the first things I do when I arrive on site, is to go and collect the Bushnell cards. I have a quick look on the playback screen on the unit (I am using the Bushnell NatureView 119440 with a 60cm close-up lens). I was delighted to see there were 45 clips this week and I could see that some looked good! I then remove the card and then take a quick look on my laptop, processing them properly when I get home.
This female seems to have taken a liking to this Bulrush and I was lucky enough to get the clips I had hoped for! I tend to get an idea, or an image, in my head of the kind of footage I would like to achieve. Sometimes, I am lucky and everything comes together pretty quickly. More often than not, though, it can take weeks or months to get what you want. It is always well worth the perseverance when you capture footage like this. She is SO beautiful…. I have watched these clips over and over again and each time, I notice something else!
These birds really are jewels of our waterways!