Jonathan Smithies
Wildlife Photography

Kingfisher o’clock

Just down the road from where I live is a nature reserve that is home to resident kingfishers. I am unashamedly captivated by these magnificent yet common birds.

Based purely on how infrequently most people see them, you would be forgiven for thinking that kingfishers are not that common. However that is not the case. Kingfishers are a resident species throughout the UK and typically side along the banks of small to medium sized rivers with ample supply of small fish.

All birds are creatures of habit, and the kingfisher is no exception. If you’re lucky, or you know where to look, you will see them perched on an overhanging branch with their eyes fixed in the water, regularly diving in to catch fish.

Depending on the time of year, kingfishers can be harder to find. In winter and spring, they are often more visible and active, at least in my experience. The amount of water in the rivers is a big determining factor as to whether or not you will see them in your regular places. Summer months with less rain mean rivers with very shallow water and less fish. These conditions force the kingfishers to go in search of new places to hunt.

Here are some of the photos from my recent encounters with the kingfishers at my local river park.

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About the Author

About me

Jonathan Smithies is a British wildlife photographer currently living in Bristol. He has a passion for photographing birds and enjoys travelling throughout the UK and abroad.