A breathtaking picture of a kingfisher bird hovering above water has been dubbed a ‘once in a lifetime’ shot by wildlife experts.
The colourful bird was caught on camera at Attenborough Nature Reserve in Nottinghamshire on Saturday by amateur photographer Paul Gregory from Clifton.
Gregory said the image, which was taken moments before the bird dove into the water for a fish, was a case of being in the ‘right place at the right time.’
However, Tim Sexton, a manager at the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust-run reserve, said capturing the bird in the impressive angel-like position was extremely rare. The birds travel at such speed, the trust says, that birdwatchers only usually get to see a ‘flash of blue’ as the they travel past.
Gregory, who had been sitting in a hide for two hours to see the bird, said:
I didn’t expect [to see any kingfishers] as the water was a bit weedy.
Then I had the first sighting at about 9 and then I got that display.
It was so rewarding as in the last year I’ve had nothing. Patience is a virtue.
Sexton added that the majority of images of kingfishers show them perching as they hunt for minnows and sticklebacks in shallow pools of water.
Action shots like this don’t happen that often. It’s a real top quality [picture] and a one in a million shot.
Attenborough Nature Reserve is known for its kingfisher birds and in 2016 it was voted as one of the best places to see the birds by BBC Wildlife magazine.
Kingfishers are bright blue and orange in colour and are mostly found in tropical regions in Africa, Asia and Oceana.
There are more than 100 specifies of kingfisher worldwide, however it’s only the common kingfisher, as seen in Gregory’s photo, which breed in the UK.
If, like Gregory, you want to spot a kingfisher, patience is key. They tend to give themselves away with their unique ‘peep peep’ call, which sounds like a high pitched piping.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.