I spent another very enjoyable and interesting day at Nurragingy Reserve at Doonside. My main aim was to try and locate and photograph an Azure Kingfisher – a bird I cannot recall seeing before and certainly one I have never photographed. I had seen a few photos published online of this bird taken at Nurragingy Reserve a few days earlier.
I arrived around 8:30 am and went to the main duckpond. I got my camera ready, and photographed some of the nearby birds.
I then wandered around some of the smaller pools in the bush area where I though the Kingfisher may be. It did not take too long to spot the bird. It was perched on a branch about 1 metre from a pool where I had photographed an Egret the week before on my previous visit. It flew off before I could get a photo, but I soon spotted it on another perch along the pool. Nearby was another photographer. She was also photographing the same bird.
I then managed to get some photos of it, including some of it diving for fish. It then flew off into the bushes.
I wandered around the reserve a bit more, and when I returned to the pool where I had first seen the Azure Kingfisher, I spotted it again, and then a second one and then another photographer waiting patiently hidden nearby. I didn’t want to spook the birds so I waited further back and grabbed a few photos.
I stayed around for a while and was able to get more photos further along the pool – of one and some of both birds together.
The main problem with photographing these birds was the very poor light. It was hard to get sharp action shots as the birds dived. They seemed quite successful with their fishing. Most of their dives seemed to result in them catching the small fish found in the pool.
I then concentrated on getting photos of a Great Egret catching fish. It was interesting to watch and also interesting to look at the photos later. The action was too fast for the eye. The Egret would dive for a fish, grab one in its beak, then toss its head back and swallow the fish. It did this many times, and also seem very successful with its strike rate.
I walked around the northern fire trail trying to get more photos of Bell Miners. I could hear them, but not see them this visit. Here is another bird I saw –
Back at the duckpond I had lunch and then photographed the birds in one of the big pools that is currently being drained. The water level is very low and the pool is very reedy. Nevertheless, Spoonbills and other birds were feeding. Sometimes getting in each others way.
Before I left the Reserve, I wandered back to the pool where I had photographed the Kingfishers. They were not in view this time. But I did spot some Noisy Miners having their baths –