Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kingfisher Madness

Getting to know a female Belted Kingfisher has been an ongoing challenge for almost two years. She’s slick.


Gasp! There she was, waiting for me to fail. From the driver seat, through the passenger open window, I clicked away. This photo is not good enough. I always want more, especially when this bird is concerned.


My zooming effort resulted in a 3-second delay option. Wrong button. This stuff happens when I hyperventilate and shake the camera.

She sat there laughing at my folly and waited for my next move. There I slithered from the car, using it as a large black blind. My head rose slowly with camera attached above the roof, ready for the perfect, all-out digital zoom shot.


She rattled all the way to the other side of the pond, skimming the water surface. I could have broken a pencil in half with my teeth.

Never get out of your car when photographing a Belted Kingfisher. The bird knows. If you meet the bird during a walk, never look at it. The bird knows.


She watched traffic in and out of the parking lot but with eyes in the back of her little conniving head, saw me get back in the car and drive around to her side. I needed to get on a main road to get there where she recognized my black Honda approaching.


You can roll in neutral and put the car in park very close to her and in an instant, before you can even think of opening the car door, she rattles to the other side of the pond.

Nanny-nanny-boo-boo to you, too!

Fuming and laughing at the same time, I drove again. This time through a residential community and I knew she’d be waiting for me.

She was winning. Again. But I’m always up for a game.


Through the windshield. One click. Gone.


Once again, drove to the other side of the pond.

She allowed me this. What a lovely background. Pffft.

I’ll never give up on her.
She’s so clever and has a very funny sense of humor, for a bird.


In 2009, I wish you good health, peace, lots of laughter, and love.

Happy New Year!


Koi Christmas 2008



Robin's Nesting Place said...

Mary, keep at it. You are the bird whisperer, so you'll get what you want from her. She is just playing hard to get.

Happy New Year to you!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Wow Mary... I think your pictures are GREAT. I would give anything to see a Kingfisher. WOW!!!!

Happy New Year.

Richard said...

Had to laugh at your exploits. Reminded me of mine last summer. Only difference is you got some good pictures.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Mary! You'll soon have another year to chase this wily bird.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to your adventure. Kingfisher's can be very camera shy.

A New England Life said...

You might not be happy but you really did get some decent shots. I know you wanted better though.

I love the Kingfishers! They are such an incredible looking bird. So beautiful and unique. We see them near the ocean here. They sit on the telephone lines, waiting for the perfect opportunity to dive.

Your Christmas photo's are lovely also. Wishing you a happy and safe New Years.


jason said...

LOL! I had to laugh, Mary, for I've been there on far too many occasions: chasing some elusive creature and trying desperately to get that one good shot. Many of those chases are still ongoing, I'm afraid.

But you captured some really nice photos of the kingfisher. That's one species I've struggled with as well, so I feel your pain... And I'm jealous! You've done better than I have by leaps and bounds.

And as others have said, a whole new year is rolling out before you with plenty of new opportunities to finally snap that perfect picture.

Happy New Year, Mary!

Ruth said...

Kingfishers are very difficult to photograph. I have taken many pictures of nothing when trying to capture them. You editing job is funny, unless the bird is after your koi.
Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

It's like me and the Ravens. When I'm walking around school with no camera, they'll come and land on my shoulders and do full-on choreographed tap dance routines in front of me. When I have a camera, they just fly away laughing out loud at me.

Dawn Fine said...

ha..Mary you got a few good shots of that silly Kingfisher..

gee..I have just started to try digascoping birdies...I have not had more than a few pictures worth posting..I have no clue yet about settings on my silly point and shoot camera thru the scope...but i will learn i suppose.

If I wasn't so lazy I might invest in a bigger camera..but I just like having my tiny point and shoot...But i am getting photo envy and might get so frustrated that i buy a bigger camera.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

Tina said...

I love your sense of adventure and I have also tried unsuccessfully to get a close up of a kingfisher..You did and so I think you actually won this time!! Love the chase scene..Have a nice New Year's Eve..enjoy the moment and I so look forward to seeing all your great Mary stories in '09!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

She probably enjoys the chase Mary. You keep getting closer and closer so you will eventually catch her off guard.

Your koi photos are lovely. I hope yuou have a Happy New Year.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

LOL! You crack me UP! Your pictures of the kingfisher are better than my pictures of kingfishers (ZERO!!) I've seldom even gotten my binoculars on one.
They are sneaky bastards.

Your word vierifcation is "blessed".

I am truly blessed to call you friend.

OK, I shouldn't have said bastard.

Larry said...

Very nice shot of the kingfisher Mary.-I try to get a photo of one every time I see one.The same thing happens all the time.The bird only lets me get close enough to get a less than mediocre picture.-The phot you took on the bottom would probably be my best sho so far.I was thinking about dressing up like a Belted Kingfisher to try to fool one.-What do ya think?

Kim said...

Those are great photos of the kingfisher. I took a picture of one once and it isn't easy.

Let me get this straight. You drive around with a black cover top thing in your car. I don't even know what that is so I am equally impressed that you have it in your car. You are my inspiration!!!

Jayne said...

LOLOLOL Mary! What a hoot. That girl is on to you big time! Happy New Year to you too friend. :c)

Wendy said...

Oh, I think you got some excellent pics. Especially from inside the car! I do like your determination. LOL!
Have a Happy New Year - your koi pics are pretty.

Anonymous said...

Hurrah for you! And a happy new year, Mary!!

Heidi said...

Happy New Year to you and yours Mary!

I love your fun game with the Kingfisher... kinda like mine and our resident titmouse.

NCmountainwoman said...

Happy New Year to you and the family, Mary. Can't wait for next year's pictures! Especially Mary v Kingfisher.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Mary!! I haven't seen a Kingfisher yet but I sure enjoy seeing one through your camera!! Great pics.


Its Time to Live said...

Keep it up. It has been my experience that they arrive just AFTER you shut off the camera and lay it down. I have even considered taking two cameras to try to trick the beastly birds!

NatureWoman said...

*O*M*G* Mary. Wow!!!! This is just totally awesome! If I saw a Kingfisher I think I would freeze. You are the best!
Happy New Year and may your new year bring you many more bewd photos to share with us!

Dog_geek said...

LOL! She certainly is a strikingly beautiful bird, but I imagine that she's sitting at home right now, telling all her friends about how her stalker is back.

Kathleen said...

She is sly and slick and worth all of your efforts. Well done!

May the new year bring you many wonderful encounters with amazing birds and creatures. Happy New Year, Mary!

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Mary! That Kingfisher may be slick, but she met her match with you. I have no doubt that you will prevail.

I wish you and your family a happy and safe 2009. I look forward to you taking us on your adventures and your beautiful pictures in
2009. Lisa

Cathy said...

Happy Happy New Year Mary!

As I scrolled admiringly past your bird photos and heart-warming ornament pixes - I arrived at the fence reflection in the water.

Geez, honey. That's pretty cool.

I'll bet you were squealing :0)

May all good things come to you in the New Year and may many of them be great birds.

Big Hug,

JeanMac said...

Bet she's still laughing - good pics, anyway, Mary. Happy New Year to you and the family.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Mary! LOL, I've never gotten a good shot of a Kingfisher and share your humor and frustration!

Anonymous said...

That last one is awesome--great focus, nice pose, shiny eye ... and gorgeous mildewy vinyl siding backdrop! Kingfishers seem to know just how to mess with our minds, don't they? Such punks. Whatevs, your shots are still really good! I've yet to get one in decent focus, vinyl siding or not.

Happy New Year!

Minerva said...

My grandmother had a house on the water on Maryland's Eastern shore. I saw alot of kingfishers growing up. Thanks for the blast from the past.

That koi picture is amazing.

Mary C said...

The Great Chase! Keep at it, Mary - you're bound to succeed one of these days! Meanwhile, have a happy new year. May you capture many more birds and share your experiences with all of your followers/readers in 2009.

jalynn01 said...

I think we all could identify!!! I have chased a Kingfisher and they are not easy prey. I could see you slithering out of the car and your head rising above the 'black blind'. You are too funny and I love your stories. And I bet we've all been caught looking into someone's bedroom window, when all the time the real draw is the bird on the roof!! Your Pictures are great and so are your stories. Love them!! Keep it up!

Q said...

The Kingfishers are so smart...
She knows your car, LOL!
Tell her about the calender and how she could be Miss May.
I love your first photograph.
Happy New Year.
May you have a year filled with fantastic photographs.

Kerri Farley said...

WOW Mary! I think these are fabulous! I have never even begun to get this close. They are very elusive. I'm with are definitely the bird whisperer!

Annie in Austin said...

Happy New Year, Mary - I can remember getting mimeographed line drawings of birds to color in grammar school - closest I've come to a kingfisher. That bird is worth chasing!

Someone else has no doubt shown you this, but here's an outfit that might let you sneak up and get the photos you want in 2009.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

RuthieJ said...

Kingfishers are so neat. One day you will get a great picture of her Mary, but in the meantime, it sounds like you're enjoying the chase.