Right place, right time

It’s really true. It’s all a matter of luck, of being in the right place at the right time.

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Male and female kingfisher, Parco della Piana, Sesto Fiorentino, March 29 2014.

It happened to Stefano and me yesterday. We went bird watching at our usual place, the Parco della Piana in Sesto Fiorentino, just outside of Florence.

We decided to check out the “kingfisher” hut before going to count the black-winged stilts. As it so happened, there was only one other photographer in the hut. Boy, this guy had the biggest lens and most elaborate set-up (camera, tripod, etc.) I’ve ever seen.

We sat down on either side of him and, at his suggestion, pointed our lenses toward the other end of the lake, about a million miles away (!), where you could barely make out a red dot = the female kingfisher’s belly. Then we just waited.

After 15 or 20 minutes, we heard a series of peeps overhead–the male kingfisher returning from his successful hunt. The female got very excited and began preening herself. After a few seconds, the male landed close to her and, after showing off his prey, turning his beak this way and that way, gently fed her the shrimp he’d caught. Awwww…so romantic!!!

We’d seen and photographed the male kingfisher before (I have posted a few photos of him here, in fact), but never the female. And we’d certainly never seen them TOGETHER, so this was an amazing treat. Now, I know this isn’t the best photo in the world (though I tried my best with the camera I have…a good camera, mind you, with a great zoom…but nothing like our new friend’s equipment…), but hey, you try taking a photo of two small red dots in the distance… ;-)

Okay, I must go now and get ready…I’m getting picked up soon by a friend, and we’re off for the rest of the day, a fun fun fun day with other friends, too. Have a great Sunday, everyone! Ciaoooooo!

Afterthought: here’s what a HUGE lens can do, and yes, this was taken by the guy sitting next to us yesterday…same place, same kingfishers…but check out the difference! Wow: http://goo.gl/DKgM9n