General Informatiion:ﾠWe will be photographing out of a wooden hide that has seating for 4 photographers and ample room for your equipment. The hides are purpose built so that we offer no disturbance to the Kingfishers that visit our site. There are also supplementary perches that can be used during the day BUT be aware everytime you get out of the hide to run the risk of disturbing the birds. The hide is perfectly situated so that it gets great light and superb backgrounds so that you will come away with superb images. The Kingfishers are well accustomed to the hides and the occupants and are fairly tolerant to the camera noises etc. New Kingfisher hides ( specifically for the superb light you can get) have been built in a different location just 5 minutes from the normal site so new hide information may differ slightly.
Equipment Required: I would recommend that for the Kingfisher you will need a lens of 300mm to 500mm to cover all portrait opportunities. I would also ensure that you bring plenty of memory cards and spare batteries as there will be lots of opportunities for images. You will require a beanbag or tripod in the hide though the shelf in the hide will also support a plate and tripod head if you have one. Only photograph from inside the hides please. For the diving Kingfisher images and environment Kingfisher images I would personally recommend a 70-200mm lens and if you have them remote triggers for diving Kingfishers - these are very very quick birds in flight. Advice on settings etc for diving shots will be given if you require it. I want to ensure that you come away with great shots so please do ask about anything you are not sure of.
Clothing: ﾠﾠI would recommend warm clothing and layers. It can be chilly first thing in the morning and also as the sun goes down later in those colder months. There is a short walk of 5-10 minutes to the hide. This can be very muddy and wet in summer and in winter as one of the Kingfisher sites is tidal - something you need to be very aware of - so please wear appropriate wellington boots.. If you wear bright Hawaii style clothing you will put off and disturb the wildlife so please wear suitable clothing ie darker shirts, jumpers etc.
Fitness Rating - 2/5 There is a flight of steps that you need to walk down which in winter can often be wet. Its a flat walk after that... Wellington boots are essential.
Other Information: There is no food at this site, and no public toilets etc so make sure you bring enough food and drink. There is also no electricity in the hides. There are shops where we usually meet up so you do have the opportunity to arrive at the meeting point early enough to grab some food before we leave for the hides..
We usually meet at a point you will be notified of, in Kirkudbright, at 7.30am. Don't be late as we want to be in the hides and settled by 8.00am. As a rule we tend to leave the hides when light fades early evening. Usual hide etiquette regarding noise etc is paramount in order to give us a maximum chance of the wildlife coming to the hide. Constant noise will have an effect, as will getting in and out of the hide. Common sense prevails.