Dangerous business of bird photography

This shot of an Azure Kingfisher took a lot of effort but was worth the trouble.

I enjoy photographing the birds but sometimes in a bush setting, you need to be careful in your surroundings and be aware of possible dangers.

One of the scariest episodes for me was when I was tracking a beautiful Azure Kingfisher along an almost dried up creek bed. I had been scouting along the banks of this creek as the weather had been very dry and there were waterholes where birds and animals could come for a drink. I was really pleased to spot an Azure Kingfisher flying quickly along the creek with a small fish in its beak.

I decided to go back the following day in case the babies might be close to leaving.

My plan was to sit quietly and when the Kingfisher flew past, I’d follow it to where I had lost sight of it and sit again. This plan worked and twice I moved down the creek.

On the third time I followed it, I struck trouble.

As I went to go slowly forward, my foot suddenly went down into the sand. It was frightening but fortunately my back leg was still on fairly solid ground. My reaction was to throw myself backwards pushing with my back leg. Luckily I was able to drag the front leg out of the grip of the sand.

Maybe I should have given the whole idea away but I pressed on. From then on, I climbed up the bank and followed the bird from there.

The kingfisher’s nest was a hollow dug into the side of the creek bank .

All the trouble was worth it. The Kingfishers came back to the nest with mainly small fish, but when one of the pair brought back a Crayfish, that was the cream on the cake.