5 January 2014
Kingfishers in Borneo
A shutter click and it was gone, flying off to another branch. Our motorised boat glided on the mud-coloured river towards the latest landing spot of that kingfisher.
It was raining a little, the weather was grey, the boat was moving, so it wasn’t that easy to take good shots of a rapidly-moving bird about thirty metres away despite my expensive camera equipment. Out of about a hundred shots only remain about ten or so which are okay-ish – blame it on the amateur skills of the photographer.
I particularly like the tiny kingfisher on the pole sticking out of the water: zoom in on the picture, you’ll see it remains relatively sharp. I had not shown that picture to my grandfather yet that he remembered a similar kingfisher from his younger days, it was funny.
The kingfisher in flight is not too bad as well: do you notice the reflection of its bright colours on the water surface?
Kingfishers are represented by close to a hundred different species spread across – interestingly, to me at least – all continents, absent only from the polar regions (I mean, who really wants to live there, right?). And while all have a large head with a pointed bill, as well as short legs below a stubby body, they range from the tiny 10-gram 10-cm African ones to the heavy 450-gram 45-cm Australian ones. For some ethnic tribes In Borneo in particular, some kingfisher species are alternatively considered ill or good omen. I was certainly happy to spot the birds – let's just hope they were the ones of good omen!