Thursday, 15 January 2015

Azure Kingfisher Fishing

The Azure Kingfisher (Alcedo/Ceyx azureus) is one of Australia's two true fishing kingfishers. The other is the Little Kingfisher of tropical NT and Qld.

Fraser and Gray, in Australian Bird Names, tell us that Ceyx [pronounced say-iks] was, in Greek mythology, the son of the Morning Star and husband of Alcyone who, because they were so happy together, joking referred to themselves as Zeus and Hera who, when they heard about this sacrilegious impertinence, sent a wild storm which wrecked Ceyx's ship and drowned him. Alcyone found his body washed up on the beach and leapt into the waves drowning herself. Both were transformed into birds usually said to be kingfishers. The blue of the Azure Kingfisher is regal indeed. His orange-rufous breast and red legs are pathognomonic!

Thank you to Ross Stothers and the Heyfield Birdwatchers for the knowledge about the presence of this uncommon little resident. This kingfisher was spotted in the Herb Guyatt Sanctuary west of Sale.

"It may look like I am basking in the sun but, in reality,
I am keeping a very close eye on the water for a potential meal"

"Ah hah. Spotted a small something."

"Dive. Dive."

"It's hard work flying uphill with a meal
and against gravity."

"I have no idea how those big birds manage.
Check out the Talking Naturally blog in
the blog list to the right or click here."

Gasp. "Here at last. That took all of two
seconds. I must be slowing dow."
For this series of images I manually focussed the camera to a point about where the bird entered the water. Thus the last image is slightly out of focus as the lens was at f6.3 allowing for max shutter speed but minimal depth of field. The bird does have a small fish in it's beak.

Magic eh? f8 and be there. Thanks Ross.

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