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”

8 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #118: Feeling the Magic (Part 2)

  1. A fabulous, magical experience for you. And a beautiful image! As to images I sometimes like to take an holistic approach that includes photographer, equipment, subject, environment. And that sometimes breaks all the ‘rules’ of photography! I like the sense of being caught in the moment and not paying to much attention to camera settings as there is just such a connection with the subject.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G,day David, sometimes, and this blog is just as guilty, we let ourselves see the whole ‘art’ of photography as something to be explored, interpreted, and slowly unravelled to become detached from the wonder of the photograph itself.
      I’ve photographed a number of genre over the years, and can say that the best of those images was when I was truly involved with the subject. (Horse photography being excepted as I quickly became aware that I was never going to complete with the most intelligent creature on the planet. )


  2. Yes, David I resound the words of Eleanor, it was a great find and a great moment to capture this young bird so beautifully. My wife also loves spotting Kingfishers, as they are one of her favorites. Was it a hot day or is this just the youngsters pose?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All good Ashley, we were more than fortunate to have so many elements work for us on the day.
      It wasn’t one of our scorcher days, and the likely answer is the little bird was constantly calling—the young hvaing quite a distinctive highpitched rolling plea.
      The wonderful thing was the lighting, not direct sunshine, but a lovely mellow melded draping light that made the best of the shapes and colours.
      Glad you both enjoyed the encounter vicariously.

      More to come

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dorothy’s photos on Flickr gave me an idea that you (two) were into something. I saw and heard the kingfishers high in the trees near the orchard several weeks ago. Now I admire this young one and imagine the magic of that performance you you enjoyed from the burned log seats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adam, there are (were) several different pairs nesting the area. Finding one on a branch is one thing, they tend to hunt several hundred metres from the nest area, and following a blur of blue and gold through the bush hoping to locate the spot is a job of total patience. EE had the fortune to find the nest after about the third attempt, but we had narrowed down the search area a bit by then.
      Pretty sure the orchard ranging pair are nesting on the far side of the river.
      The fire, and the resultant clearing around the area gave the adults a great place to train up the young, and as it turned out a good spot for some fine contact moments with the birds
      Be hard to have such repeat season.


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