Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Belted Kingfisher

Rachel Carson Salt Marsh, Scarborough, Maine


William Buckley said...

Great photograph.

Were you stationary for a long time, or did the bird just happen to perch there?

ahab said...


Be damned if we hadn't just hopped out of the car and left the parking lot on this long, straight gravel trail through the salt marsh, when I see a kingfisher crossing a bend in the waterway and landing in a pine shrub/tree 120 feet away. I shot him a while and he crossed to a downed array of hardwood branches. Shot him a bunch there and he crossed in another direction onto this perch. Probably both other perches provided better shots but for some reason I focused on this one first, mainly I guess because of the interesting, striped background.

While I was watching this guy (actually the female, unusually in birds the more colorful of the sexes), she was calling back and forth across this part of the marsh regularly (in their very distinctive, ratcheting call) with at least two other kingfishers.

We get kingfishers at my lake. They nest here. But I have to shoot them on boathouse roofs or on telephone poles or on other man-made perches. Here within ten minutes I had three different exquisite natural perches and backgrounds. There were also terns, herons, cormorants, various gulls, a hawk (which I heard but did not see), various warblers, and seals that we saw and photographed within a 45 minute visit.

I desperately want to live in coastal Maine.

Tom Hilton said...

Really nice shot. Bird looks a little disheveled, though.

ahab said...

She's excited and alert, so she's got her punky crest up. They are goofy looking things. Personality to match. Hilarious birds, I love them.

You can hear their call here (it's much louder than this recording suggests):