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Malachite Kingfisher

Photographing Malachite Kingfishers 

I spent the past few weekends photographing Malachite Kingfishers, their colours never cease to amaze me! 

I am fortunate that a breeding pair and 3 juveniles (babies) have made my local wetland, Intaka Island, their home.

There are a few hides at Intaka but the “Malachite” hide is a morning light location. The hide is popular therefore it’s best to get an early start – members stake their claim (ie bench) from 6am onwards.

There are various perches close to the hide but as the Kingfishers are small (only 13cm long) I would recommend your longest lens.

My setup is as follows:

a) Canon 7D mk2 and Canon 400DO IS II with 1.4x extender attached (effective reach is 896mm).

b) I use the ledge of the hide to place my bean bag on for stability.

A few tips to help you capture the images you are after:

a) Focus on the eye as you always want a sharp, clear eye preferably with catch light (light reflection)

b) AI Servo AF (Canon) or Continuous-Servo AF (Nikon)

c) Continuous Drive mode and not Single Shot

d) Shutter Speed of 1/1100 and above

 I managed to capture the following images – you can distinguish the juvenile from the adult by it’s dark bill.


Till next time …

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