Sunday 26 February 2012

Pesky Kingfisher

I was planning to show you some top class Kingfisher shots this weekend but my plans haven't quite worked as they should. Several weeks ago I got the idea of photographing the Carrigrennan Kingfisher and so I set up a little hide near one of its fishing posts. The hide had been in place for a week when I came back on Saturday morning. However, when I arrived at the pool the hide had fallen over and the Kingfisher was cheekily perched in a willow right above the only bit of my makeshift hide that remained in place. Once he moved I got into position and fixed up my hide. However he failed to play ball and at 14:50 I baled out and rushed home to watch Ireland versus Italy. Of course I know now that it was a 13:30 kick-off so missed most of that match. Darn Kingfisher!!
Not to be defeated I went back again Sunday morning, the hide was still there but the weather was a bit dull. Back into position and while I had nice views of Little Egret, Water Rail, Siskin, Reed Bunting and Redpoll there was no sign of the Kingfisher. The best I have to show you is his fishing post, use your imagination and you'll see the beautiful electric blue and chestnut colours as he deals with yet another Stickleback!!

Fishing Post - try and picture that Kingfisher!!

The hide remains in place and I intend to return, but for now the Kingfisher is winning!

Not very comfy hide
As the weather got more drizzly and I got colder and more in need of a 'bio-break' I called it a day and decided to drive over towards Ballycotton pier. A few weeks ago there had been good numbers of white-winged gulls there so I thought it might be worth a go.

Ballycotton lifeboat - 26th February 2012

Picking up a loaf of Brennan's Bread in Cloyne I was all set.
I arrived at the pier and immediately spied a 1st winter Iceland Gull. There were no other white-winged gulls around sadly but this would do for now. No need for a hide this time, I chucked some bread into the water and he was one of the first gulls over.

Iceland Gull, Ballycotton Pier, 26 February 2012
I was glad to take a break from just sitting in a hide, photographing gulls can be very satisfying. I remember spending one very enjoyable afternoon in Baltimore 3 years ago watching Julian Wylie's superb Ivory Gull, it was one of the most enjoyable twitches I've ever been on.
The Iceland Gull filled himself up with slliced bread before indigestion probably set in and he took to just resting on the water.

1st winter Iceland Gull and Brennan's sliced pan.
Amongst the other gulls present I noticed this 1st winter Herring Gull which had a black ring on its left leg and a BTO ring on its right. The number is TU8F and after a little bit of detective work it turns out the bird was ringed as a pullus on the Calf of Man last July. Interesting stuff!

Ringed 1st winter Herring Gull
Also present were several Kittiwakes, GBB Gulls, Herring Gulls, Common Gulls, Pied Wagtails and Rock Pipits. Before I left I noticed this Grey Heron looking like he was about to drive off in a fishing boat, couldn't help but laugh to myself.

My boat, my boat!!!

 Hopefully some Kingfisher shots to come in due course.

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