28 January 2012 – taking advantage of Intaka’s friendly kingfishers…
After having seen a number of people posting photos in various forums of kingfishers taken at Intaka Island Wetland Reserve recently, we decided that an early morning visit was on the cards for there. Arriving at the reserve just after 6am, it didn’t take us too long to walk the short distance to the hide and secure ourselves seats for the vigil. This had obviously proved to be a popular spot and, within no time at all, the hide was filled to the brim with expectant photographers.
Even before the sun had risen high enough to shower some decent light on to the area, a confiding young Purple Heron was out and feeding in front of the hide allowing some reasonable photos to be taken, even if the light wasn’t great.
Over the course of the next few hours, we enjoyed the regular visits to the perches in front of the hide of both Pied and Malachite Kingfishers which allowed us to take an innumerable number of photos of these gems. Of course, even after having spent so much time there, one still comes away a little disappointed that you could’ve done better with some of the photos, but it gets taken as a learning curve and, hopefully, you will also remember what to do differently the next time.
Other photographic distractions during the course of the morning also included a number of winter-plumaged Southern Red Bishops as well as a Black-shouldered Kite whilst the Little Bitterns, although seen several times during the morning, did not really allow for any decent photos.
Once we had had our fill of photos and the light had gotten a little too harsh to continue, we headed off, not before lucking out on a Cape Dwarf Gecko near the exit, a new reptile species for our challenge list. This species has somehow managed to get itself introduced into the Western Cape (probably on some plants or building materials that have been transported to the Cape from other parts of the country) and is now popping up at a number of places. However, it seems to be quite difficult to pin down and, even although it is an introduced species, it was still something that we needed to get for the challenge list (which does include all introduced freely roaming species) and had been eluding us up until now. So, an unexpected addition to the challenge list was a great end to a wonderful morning out.