Monday, July 10, 2017

Belted Kingfisher on the Tuolumne River

I've been having a battle of wits (twits? tweets?) this week with a pair of Belted Kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon). I've been waking up earlier than usual this week (a residual of my recent field trip), so I've been heading down to the Tuolumne River Parkway Trail to see what kinds of birds and other animals might be about (I had a nice encounter with a Red Fox yesterday). For three days in a row, I inadvertently flushed out a pair of Kingfishers who flew away downriver to places unknown (I don't like to harass birds, but I was just walking the trail). Each successive morning I approached more slowly with the camera ready, but they were just too wary. It happened again this morning and they flew off and I walked on. A few minutes later though, I heard that staccato call of a Kingfisher in the tree above, and for a split second, the bird was yelling at me, and I got one shot before it flew off.
Later, at the end of my hike, I was approaching the area where they've been hanging out, and once again I crept ahead slowly and saw the Kingfisher again. I squeezed off about eight shots, one of which was sharp enough to use. Of all the birds I've seen on the Tuolumne, the Kingfishers have been among the most challenging to photograph.

That's not to say that I don't have other challenges. It was quite a day...I saw a Western Tanager, a Bullocks Oriole, an Oak Titmouse and a Green Heron, and of them all, I got exactly no pictures. So I shall sally forth, again and again, until I get the perfect picture of all of them!

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