Saturday Evening Post #118: Feeling the Magic (Part 2)

Tom Brown (Tracker) “Too often we walk in ignorance.”

“Empathy,” writes Jon Young, “is a dangerous word in science, because it taken to mean a less rigorous critical objectivity. “However I’ve noted over the years that those who succeed are those who adopt and empathetic point of view of their study of the birds.”

I rambled a bit last weekend about the importance of ‘the image’ and its affect on the viewers.

To balance that out, I think there is also an affect that happens to the maker. Sadly, not every photo we take is a “Gold Medal Winner.”  Some simply go straight to the big pixel bin in the ether.

But sometimes the photos express not only the feel of the maker, but also the importance of the moment that it was taken.

It’s not all about excellence in technique, the quality of the equipment, nor the visual impact.
Sometimes it’s simply that “I was there, and this is what I saw.”

We, EE and I have been monitoring a nesting pair of Sacred Kingfisher.

As the dear Mrs Beeton says of cooking a Hare, “First Catch your Hare.” Research would show that she wasn’t the first to use that statement in publication, that probably goes to Hannah Glasse, in how to cook a fish. But

I digress.

We had seen the presence of a Kingfisher along the river track, and EE was keen to see where they might be nesting.  We had been photographing Hobbies, with our friend, Neil A, when EE decided to move down the river and seek out the Kingfisher.

Half an hour later, a fateful text arrived. “I’ve found it.”.  Even the great Sherlock Holmes could figure out what ‘it’ was. So I farewelled Neil, and the Hobbies and went for a looksee.
“There”, she pointed. Quite economic of words when the occasion calls, is EE.

So over the next 3 weeks or so we’ve been watching the feeding of the young, and hoping for a quick glimpse to see how big, and how many.

They flew just over a week ago. Two perfect little birds.

Now on the wing, they would be even harder to locate.
By one of those happy co-incidences, there had been a fire in an old hollow tree.  The old skeleton was not only grey, but blackened.  Once the fire had been extinguished, it was necessary to cut down the tree to quench the embers within.
All this meant was a small area was flattened scrub with all the necessary Fire Response people at work.

It opened up the ground and the parent Kingfishers took their young down there to learn the finer points of hunting on the ground.

Eminently suitable for photography, and we sat on some of the burnt logs and watched the young explore the area, catch their first bugs, and rest on the downed limbs of the tree quite close to where we were sitting. They were so enthralled by the outside world that they took no notice of  us and gave us the wonderful opportunity to watch them at work, and to photograph them in a relaxed way for both bird and image maker.

Jon Young, “There has to be a moment from heart, spirit, soul and body.”
“Its about taking the time to tune-in, not just show up, but really tune-in—and learn a thing or two about what the birds already know.

Feeling and sharing “The Magic”