When I said I had two specific targets in mind, what I really meant was two types of target.
One was the Painted Snipe, one of my favourite species! Sadly it was not to be despite my having put some effort in to finding one it appeared there was too much water at their known spot locally so that idea was abandoned eventually.
The other target was Kingfishers!
Now there are several kinds to be found, all skilful and none more so than the human kind!
There were a couple of guys who regularly fished the creek.
Very effective they were too although most of the fish caught using this method are pretty small.
No the Kingfishers I was after are the avian sort.
The stunning little Malachite to the previously seen Giant.
I didn't just want them sitting on a perch though, I was looking for some action.
Being bigger and somewhat slower the Giant proved easiest to catch as it came out of the water but I never witnessed it catch anything.
looked spectacular though!
and it was easy "ish" to follow with a tripod mounted lens too.
The Malachite on the other hand was unpredictable and quick and rarely gave an opportunity at all.
Being small there was the dilemma of using a teleconverter or not as that would make life even harder.
The full frame image looks like this.
My preference is to focus on the perch and hope it lands on the one chosen.
Too slow a shutter speed and you get motion blur
even at 1/4000th of a second shutter speed.
I never did get it right on the few occasions it performed for me!
My favoured place was from the bridge at Kotu, seen here at the top of the photo,
There were quite a few perches that had been put in place here. The bird guides claimed they had put them there and I'm sure they did, but I met someone who claimed they were his idea. Anyway, they were there to take advantage of! Just guess which one the bird would use!
Pied Kingfishers were present in fairly large numbers. They are very confiding often landing on the bridge railings or nearby bushes when there are people stood close by.
I wanted the classic landing pose though!
Not quite sharp and you only get one shot before it lands.
After several messed up attempts and many hours waiting I finally came up with something I was happy with.
Looks pretty sharp
Very nice even!
I kept my finger on the shutter button as the bird settled
and it took a couple of more shots.
I ideally would use a remote control to take the pictures, that way when you suddenly grab at the camera there is no risk of it moving off the selected target and you can also watch the action as you take the photos without distractions.
Mine was left at home due to weight restrictions on the plane!
As I was taking the last few shots I realised there was more action to be had.
The bird swung around but I didn't catch this until I looked at the photos later.
I heard a commotion though.
There was more than one bird involved!
and as I released the shutter button I quickly depressed it again.
Just in time I caught the impact!
Bang! Take that !
Quite literally knocked off it's perch and I had managed to capture it too.
Delighted with the result that would do me if I didn't get another picture of anything!