Nature’s Fisherman

It was time once again for a wander in the wild. Kacper had told us about a kingfisher he’d seen on the River Caldew, so Zahrah and I met him in town and we set off. I’ve had two kingfisher sightings both in Cumbria, one with my camera one without. I managed to get the speedy bird in frame for one of my shots, but I wanted to slightly improve on an indistinct electric blue blur this time.

It was so refreshing seeing the first signs of spring. Little pops of colour speckled the green grass as snowdrops and crocuses stretched out of the cold, hard ground – dainty little warriors taking on the end of winter.

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We were met at the river by a smoky grey guardian – a feathered old man that stood hunkered up at the top of a tree. The heron surveyed his river with grumpy indifference. Zahrah is under the impression that these birds are beautiful. While I can’t quite agree on that, they are a spectacular looking species that always draw my attention, whether they’re sat slouched on a branch or flapping through the air with spindly dangling legs.

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After leaving the heron behind I spotted the elusive kingfisher, so we followed it along the river bank as best we could. In the meantime, Zahrah had a play with medium format film, and attracted a couple of inquisitive mute swans.

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Despite the slow emergence of spring, it still got bitterly cold and before long the light began to fade. We were just about to head for home when another flash of blue shot across the water. Hurrying across the bridge, we staked out the riverbank and managed to spot the kingfisher resting amongst the scrub. It’s still not the best kingfisher photo ever taken, but it’s a vast improvement on my last – you can even see it’s an animal this time!

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