The photo shows the moment when a male kingfisher attempted to help mate in delivering food for the chicks
Incredible photo shows the moment when a male kingfisher tries to help mate deliver food for their chicks
- Split-second rare photo taken by retired Diana Knight in Lincolnshire in July
- Shows when the kingfisher’s parents trade their catch for their chicks
- Kingfishers are notoriously difficult to photograph in flight due to the high speed
A perfectly timed photo shows the moment when a male kingfisher tried to help his mate provide fish food for their chicks.
The blink of an eye exchange was captured on camera by amateur photographer Diana Knight.
Retired Diana had been waiting all night in a shelter by a pond to take pictures of a group of otters near Bourne, Lincolnshire.
By daybreak the otters had not appeared and a tired Diana began packing her camera tripod and kit.
Photographer Diana Knight captured the moment when a male kingfisher attempted to help his partner deliver fish food for their chicks while attempting to take pictures of otters near Bourne, Lincolnshire (pictured)
Suddenly, a blue flash caught her eye and Diana instinctively pressed her camera shutter and captured a very rare image of two kingfishers interacting on the wing.
Kingfishers are notoriously difficult to photograph in flight, as they shoot at high speed to catch their prey.
But in the photo taken in July, Diana managed to capture not only a successful catch, but also a parental transmission of the messages for the children.
Diana, who lives with husband Cliff, said she was delighted to see the outcome of the decision to take the photo.
She said, “As is so often the case with wildlife photography, you make a plan and go out with one thing in mind, and Mother Nature changes all of that in an instant.
Retired Diana (pictured) had spent the night in a shelter by a pond waiting to take pictures of a group of otters near Bourne, Lincolnshire
However, I was very happy with this photo as an unusual action photo and so I asked my husband to post it on the social media page of a local group.
‘I don’t have a Facebook account and am a bit of a technophobic, happier with a stone tablet and a chisel than a computer.
“Nonetheless, I was amazed when it received nearly 500 likes and was delighted to see how many people seemed genuinely surprised to see this unusual behavior as well.”
Where are kingfishers found and how rare are they?
Kingfishers, known for their striking bright blue and orange plumage, can be found all over Great Britain, but especially in Central and Southern England.
The bird, which has a protected amber status, is found in still or slow-flowing water such as lakes, canals and rivers in lowland areas.
They hunt for fish from perches along the river, sometimes floating above the surface of the water before quickly diving down to make a catch.
According to the RSPB, there is an estimated population of 3,800-6,400 couples in the UK.
Diana used a Canon 1dx ii with a 300mm f2.8 lens to get this amazing photo and said the unusual nature of the photo made up for the lack of otters.
She said that despite hours of waiting for otters, the moment she got the photo of the kingfishers happened in the blink of an eye
She said, “When I started disassembling my tripod, there was a sudden blue flash right in front of me, followed by a splash as the kingfisher dived into the water.
“It wasn’t planned, but I think I sat on autopilot and instinctively hit the shutter to record the event.
‘When I saw the female kingfisher emerge I was amazed to see the male kingfisher challenging her and aggressively trying to wrestle the fish from her, the female bird has an orange beak, while the male’s is black.
‘Why would he do this? I have no idea as both had enjoyed fishing together and returned the food to their nest since first light.
The chicks would have been fed no matter which parent delivered it, but for some reason the male clearly saw himself as the better breadwinner and felt the need to bring this little fish too.
“They disappeared in a blue flash, and soon after, both were back fishing when I left, so I never could see if this behavior was repeating.”
Diana said Covid-19 had meant she couldn’t travel as far as usual to pursue her passion for wildlife.
She said: ‘Due to the Covid restrictions, the options for wildlife photography are limited and I have not been able to go far or join photographic trips, so instead I only visited a shelter in a pond and where I planned to stay overnight, because otters are known. to visit and I thought they would take great photos.
‘This paired kingfishers were actively fishing early in the evening, bringing the fish to their nesting chicks that I believe were somewhere along a nearby riverbank.
‘I hardly took any pictures of them because they are so often photographed that it is very difficult to get something’ different ‘with kingfishers and that has never been seen before and so I thought they would generate very little interest.
“But Mother Nature has proven again that she always surprises you.”