The reasoning behind the Kingfisher Trap goes like this:
- birds never sit still
- when they sit still, you can't see them properly
- when you can see them properly, you haven't got your camera with you
- so you provide them with a perch positioned where you can see it, and you sit there with your camera and take pictures when the bird turns up.
|My first ever picture of a kingfisher - an adult male|
All you do is fix a pole over the water where the electric blue bullet whizzes to and fro, making that piercing "Hweet" call. This one is over the millstream, visible (after a little judicious gardening) from the bedroom window. You still have to find a way of persuading your kingfisher to stay long enough to focus the camera, but that's down to the likely prey in the chosen stretch of water. No prey, no stay.
Other birds like to use the kingfisher trap, too. It provides a convenient spot for an incoming bird with food for chicks to check that all is well and no predators are watching before going to the nest.
|Female blackcap with breakfast|
This pair of blackcaps has a second brood, having successfully raised about four from the first. They have relocated to the side of the tree nursery area, in a space previously occupied by a wren. She used the perch too, and is also on a second brood, somewhere.
Other species, such as grey wagtails, use the perch as a survey point to catch insects over the water. Last Friday a family group of at least four birds, adults and young, landed on the pole in great excitement. Unfortunately the evening sunlight was coming straight down the pole and all I got in the picture was a reflection of the camera.