Sunday, 17 July 2011

Kingfishers

Having spent many hours sat in hides photographing kingfishers over recent years I was nevertheless excited at the prospect of watching a pair go through the process of digging a nesting burrow.

I took these shots from a fair distance to avoid disturbance a few weeks ago, but although I hold a schedule 1 licence for photographing kingfishers, I thought it too sensitive to post online until I knew the birds had successfully fledged.

I knew that these birds had already raised a family about 200 metres away during April and May as their first brood despite digging a burrow in a different place then.

It is almost instinctive that before they have their second brood they need to go through this digging process perhaps as a bond strengthening tool for their courtship.

They dug this second burrow to I guess about 1/2 a metre depth and then abondoned it in favour of laying again in the same burrow that they raised their first brood.

There are now 2 new and unused burrows that may offer opportunities for next season ...or even for a third brood!

Here are a few shots and a final distant shot of the female on the river. As the site was open and exposed I never spent any time photographing them there.

To view some of my previous kingfisher images please click here.

Male kingfisher at burrow

Male kingfisher at burrow

Male kingfisher at burrow

Male kingfisher leaving burrow

Male kingfisher leaving burrow

Female kingfisher perched.