Twitcher

Twitcher: A Kingfisher on a wooden perch (five minutes later)

According to the Internet, a Twitcher is an enthusiastic Birder, who travels and seeks out unusual breeds. I’m not even a Birder; as I said before, a bird has to be pretty entertaining before I’ll photograph it. But, I bought this telephoto lens for photographing fox cubs, and we didn’t get any this year. So I thought I’d have a proper go at birds, in a hide, like a Birder does.

I always wanted to find and photograph a Kingfisher. I actually achieved this a few years ago, but it was so far away, it was difficult to see, and came out as a blue/orange fuzzy blob. After a Kingfisher flew past me near Ackworth recently, I decided I’d treat my lens to a day out, in search of Kingfishers. So that sort of makes me a very poor Twitcher.

Fast forward to me sitting in a metal hide on a hot July day in Rodley Nature Reserve, Leeds. Attempting banter with my new-found birder mates, I am informed that I just missed a Kingfisher, sitting momentarily on a nearby wooden perch. Damn. But, clearly, they are around, so I just need to sit tight and wait for my Kingfisher shot.

Some bird, whose name I forget.

An hour and a half later, I have sulkily decided that birding is stupid. And my fellow birders’ conquests are starting to get on my wick. I managed a fuzzy photo of some unremarkable bird (whose name I forget), and the famous wooden perch has only been used once, by a rather clumsy Moorhen. I go for a long walk outside, as it’s a lovely sunny day, but see nothing more than a few dragonflies, a mother and toddler, and lots of pensioners. On my return, I am told that there was another Kingfisher. So I wait another half an hour, before I get the hell out of the hot metal box, and go home.

Scoop: Grey Herons playing Tig

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