Friday 5 June 2009


Yesterday reminded me of why Upton Warren can be so special. I love to travel around the UK in search of a variety of subjects, but it is great when somewhere on your doorstep yields results.

On arrival at the Moors, a birder informed me of a curlew sandpiper over on the Flashes, so back into the car and over there for a look. In the hide was Stuart and we both set about trying for a shot of this wader. Unfortunately, like the shore lark, it favoured one of the islands that bit too far for a decent shot from my lens, so I only managed record shots.

Speaking to Stuart about his recent images, I decided to head over to the Moors to try my luck with the kingfishers he had seen frequently lately. Setting up camp in the "spider" hide (the disabled access one called Water Rail on the west side) I was soon enjoying fabulous views of one of the kingfishers, perched and then fishing in front of the hide.

Aside from perched shots of a kingfisher, I have often tried and always failed to get a shot of one in action. I have a couple of half decent shots of one hovering from over at Brandon Marsh, but they were fair crops.

So when the kingfisher returned to the same perch, and the light was still good, I thought I'd try my luck. Setting the camera up to have a fast shutter speed, I tried to anticipate where the bird would try to fish. This meant aiming the camera at the water and trying to keep one eye looking through the camera, and the other at the bird. Could have done with being a chameleon!

Anyway, mostly I got shots of a blurred bird, or of a sharp splash or nothing at all, but one of the shots came out okay. (See my Gallery for a larger version)

It's not brilliant, but it's the best shot of a kingfisher I have taken to date, and I'm chuffed to bits with it. So hats off to Upton Warren for yet another magical moment.

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