Belted Kingfisher – My Elusive Lady

I’ve been looking for this female Belted Kingfisher for weeks now but so far she’s eluded me. A year ago she spent weeks at a pond near the Jordan River and I photographed her many times until she disappeared for the nesting season.

 

 

1/5000, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

All three of these photos were taken exactly one year ago today and I’ve been hoping she’ll return on a “schedule” so I’ve been down to the pond looking for her at least once (sometimes twice) every day for the past several weeks. So far I’ve struck out but I’ll continue to watch for her.

I usually photographed her in a cluttered setting and in this shot I’m not fond of the branch in front of her head and bill but…

 

 

1/4000, f/6.3, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

when she turned her head to look to her left that branch became much less of a problem for me. Anytime I can get this close to a kingfisher is a good day for me – no matter the setting.

 

 

1/3200, f/6.3, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

Eleven minutes later, while she was perched much further away (this image has been cropped heavily), she threw a pellet. Many folks are unaware that kingfishers cast pellets but they do. Here we can see the pellet rising in the back of her throat. I was very lucky to get light on the pellet so it can be easily seen – usually in this situation it would be in deep shade inside that cavernous mouth.

I’ve been lucky enough to photograph kingfishers casting pellets several times. If you missed my post of this pellet being ejected those images can be seen here. And the previous month (Dec 2016) I photographed a male kingfisher throwing a pellet at Farmington.

With my 500mm lens on its way to California for cleaning, testing and possible repair I’m anxious to try out my 100-400mm with attached teleconverter on birds but the weather and light aren’t cooperating. It’s been mostly cloudy for weeks and this morning it’s finally mostly clear out there but the wind preceding a storm front has been howling for two days now (it kept me awake much of the night last night).

But where this kingfisher hangs out is very close to my home so whenever there’s a “sucker hole” in the clouds (and if this wind ever dies down) I’ll be down there looking for her – with a lens combo I’ve had very little practice with.

I sure hope I find her again.

Ron

 

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A Hiccup For Feathered Photography

Bumps in the road come with the territory when you’re a bird photographer and blogger but that doesn’t make this pothole any easier to take.

 

Here’s a hint as to what’s going on. Can you guess?

 

 

Yup, it’s my 500mm lens (Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM) all packed up in its case and ready to be shipped to the Canon Factory Service Center in Irvine, CA later today.

I’ve been having intermittent focusing issues with it for many months now and with spring birds coming up I figured it was past time to send it in for cleaning, diagnosis and possible repair. I’m a member of CPS (Canon Professional Services) so theoretically at least I’ll receive expedited service and it won’t be gone for long.

I mention all this here because regular readers will likely notice a change at Feathered Photography while it’s gone. In its absence I’ll be using my smaller zoom lens (Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM) with attached 1.4 teleconverter which reduces my “reach” significantly for birds so I’m very likely to get fewer quality images. The result may be that I’ll be posting more older photos than usual for a while and it’s even possible that on some days I won’t be posting at all. If that happens subscribers (all 759 of them) shouldn’t be concerned if they don’t receive their regular morning email from Feathered Photography. You can still enjoy your morning coffee without Feathered Photography!

I’ll just have to see how it all plays out.

My lens isn’t even gone yet and I’m already having withdrawal symptoms. And I’m not kidding…

Ron

PS – The case I’m using to ship the lens in (the one in the photos) comes with the lens when you purchase it. If you own the same lens don’t ever lose or damage that case! At some point you’ll probably need it for shipping and the price for a replacement is……

$600.00!

Yes, just for the case.

 

 

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