Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography: Blog en-us (C) Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography [email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:12:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:12:00 GMT Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography: Blog 120 120 Spamming my Guestbook Sadly, I've had to delete my "Guestbook Page".

It was constantly being spammed and I just could not keep going back to delete these dreadful entries.

I imagine there must be some auto spamming program.

I'm sorry but I suppose that it's a sign of the times.


[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Wed, 18 Oct 2017 07:11:10 GMT
May Kingfisher update. Sadly the birds have paired up late this year and as of 3rd May still had still not constructed a nest.  Add to this the six weeks required for incubation and fledging, then May is no longer a viable option for guaranteed photography.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Thu, 04 May 2017 15:36:34 GMT
Kingfisher Update I've been down the river several times this year to see how things are progressing.  In February I noticed that the main perch was gone and that there was much flood debris along the river caught up in low hanging branches.  So on the 10th April I had a "Big Gardening Day!"   In my trusty chest waders (what a sight) I set about clearing the debris and giving the area a good check-over.  With a bow saw I removed the branches which were choking the river's flow leaving a much clearer expanse for the Kingfishers to dive into.  I returned again yesterday (19th April) and sat back for an hour to see if there was any activity.  A truly beautiful female kingfishers flew on to the newly erected perch for a minute or two.  She then flew several metres down river close to last year's nest and after another few minutes departed.  Sadly I was without my camera but I will return next week and hopefully I can post a couple of images. 

Thing are looking promising .... I'll keep you posted.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses nature photographic courses wildlife Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:53:25 GMT
It's Duck Season As we sit staring out of the window, waiting for the rain to ease, the ducks are having a great time.  Their numbers seem greater than ever, and, there are good photographic opportunities out there.  This Wigeon was photographed at RSPB Greylake but there are loads of other lakes and ponds with our winter wildlife.  So go on, put on your hat and gloves and get out there.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Charlie Bishop RSPB Greylake Wigeon duck in-flight nature wildlife Wed, 01 Feb 2017 09:26:48 GMT
Happy New Year Well 2017 is upon us.  I went to Blashford Nature Reserve yesterday and had some smashing views of this Water Rail.  Sadly he stayed in the shadows but well worth some images.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Blashford Water Rail nature wildlife Tue, 03 Jan 2017 17:13:27 GMT
Kingfisher update. Well sadly I have to finish the 2016 courses on the river.  I had hoped that the late summer/early autumn might provide opportunities for those who I had to cancel due to the flooding earlier this year.  Rest assured I will be back on the river in the spring of 2017.  Here's a shot of this year's male, let's hope he makes it through the winter.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Bishop Charlie Kingfisher courses kingfisher photographic photography Thu, 01 Sep 2016 08:33:47 GMT
Summer in the garden Nature truly can be cruel, but hey, Sparrow Hawk chicks need feeding too.  If you have a popular bird table I'm sure this beautiful predator must visit at time to time.  If you're into wildlife photography its not all about long lenses.  This was shot with a 70-200!

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Sparrow Hawk Fri, 08 Jul 2016 18:40:51 GMT
River level reaches nest and nest abandoned. It is with much regret that the Kingfisher nest on my local river has been abandoned following the excessive rains we have recently experienced.  Over two days there has been no activity at the nest with the water level being just an inch or two below the nest entrance.

Sadly this has no doubt been replicated at dozens of other nest across the south of England underlining the vulnerability of these little birds.

Of course this pair will probably make another nest and hopefully have another clutch of eggs.

So, with fingers crossed, and incubation taking between 19 and 21 days, and a further 23 to 27 days to fledge there could still be the pitter patter of young Kingfishers mid to late August.

But this river also suffers from duck weed towards the end of summer, which forces the birds to fish elsewhere.

Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope they raise a brood.


[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:23:36 GMT
Under New Management Well sadly "Flash", the male that has held this territory of the last 4 years, is no longer with us.

Being around 6 years old, I imaging he didn't make it through the winter.

But let's not forget the numerous youngsters that he's raised.

However, there is a new guy on the river (see photo) and last week he's found a partner.

I saw them mating a couple of times, so with a little luck we may have the pitter patter of little Kingfishers in early July.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Mon, 16 May 2016 11:57:11 GMT
Duck Weed Sadly this year's courses were cut short due to the invasion of this dreadful Duck Weed.

Made up of tiny leaves, it has floated down and covered most of the river.

This forced the Kingfishers to temporarily move off down river.  It happens every year but during 2015 it was earlier than usual.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Mon, 05 Oct 2015 08:47:41 GMT
Juvenile Kingfishers everywhere! Down the river today with Ben and Keith after a few weeks away.

Sadly no sign of adults but there were 6 juveniles.

Four I believe were from the first brood and two were somewhat older.

Perhaps these had been driven downriver by their parents.

Still it was a joy to watch them squabble!

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Fri, 31 Jul 2015 15:16:40 GMT
Dad's still busy ........ Dave and Andy joined me today for another great day on the river.  Sadly the juveniles are being fed out of site but the adult female, also likes a free meal, provided by here ever loyal partner.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher photographic courses Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:47:13 GMT
Yes at last they've fledged. Two yesterday and two today but at last they've made the leap of faith.  I only had my camcorder with me today but here's a "Still" from it.  Isn't he handsome and it's his very first day in the big wide world.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Sat, 06 Jun 2015 16:08:23 GMT
Having a quiet preen Another successful day on the river.  Andy came along and here's one of his more unusual images.  Thankfully the female had a better day's fishing and I'm sure those chicks are all the better for it!

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Thu, 04 Jun 2015 08:35:46 GMT
At last the weather's on the turn Another great day for images on the river.  However, I'm a little concerned regarding the female's "willingness" to feed the chicks, which are still in the nest.  In the six hours Nigel and I were there, we only saw her take one fish to the nest, whereas the male took around thirty!  Come on girl, knuckle down.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Tue, 02 Jun 2015 18:26:19 GMT
No chicks, but the sun's back. After yesterday's downpour the sun returned.  Noel had a great day and here's one of his favourites.  Those chicks still haven't fledged.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Sat, 30 May 2015 15:07:37 GMT
And then it rained! Rained, it chucked it down.  Luckily Jean Parry and I, had cover in the Dome Hides (I never knew that they were that water proof).  Sadly the poor male was soaked.  But with chicks to feed, he soldiered on.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Fri, 29 May 2015 18:14:27 GMT
They are "Still" in there When will those little darlings fledge?

Regardless, Ken and Bob still had a great day's photography.

Ken was brave enough to use the river platform for this outstanding image.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Wed, 27 May 2015 18:08:01 GMT
Still haven't fledged A great on the river today with Carol Dyer. 

The weather could have been kinder but Carol still took some outstanding images.

When will those chicks fledge!

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Sun, 24 May 2015 16:15:11 GMT
The latest from the river I Popped down to the river yesterday, for a couple of hours.

After replenishing the feeding station with ten normal sized minnows, the male was soon fishing from it.

It was emptied within 30 minutes, taking 9 to the nest and eating the tenth.

I restocked again with normal size minnows, and once more it was emptied in next to no time.

The chicks should be almost fully grown so they will be fledging very soon.

How exciting!


[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Thu, 21 May 2015 08:52:51 GMT
Another great day by the river Colin Armstron, joined me on the river on Tuesday 12th, and we both captured some great shots.  Here's one of Colin's more unusual images.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Thu, 14 May 2015 15:10:23 GMT
They've hatched Hooray, at last the eggs have hatched and the adult male is now taking small minnows into the nest. 

Graeme R, joined me on the river today and here's one of his images.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Mon, 11 May 2015 15:16:45 GMT
River up-date I popped down to the river today to check on the Kingfishers' activity.

The Male and female are still sharing the incubating and still no sign yet that the eggs have hatched.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Fri, 01 May 2015 13:03:56 GMT
River up-date Sadly still no fish going into the nest so the eggs have still yet to hatch.

Both birds taking it in turns to brood, keeping those precious eggs warm.

The photo was taken by Jim Gibbs who joined me today, great shot Jim.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:20:49 GMT
River up-date Just a quick update to say that the Female Kingfisher still appears to be on eggs.

Neither bird are taking small fish to the nest so we still await their hatching.

I'm starting to pace up and down like an expectant father!

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Wed, 22 Apr 2015 08:35:53 GMT
Things are much more busy down on the river At last I can confirm that our female kingfisher is definitely on eggs.

I'll post again when they hatch.

In the mean time check out my Facebook page for a couple of short videos.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Wed, 15 Apr 2015 15:17:51 GMT
Kingfisher nest 2015 Kingfisher on Flashgun!Kingfisher on Flashgun!


Just a quick update.

Both parents appear to be making the finishing touches to their first nest of 2015.  The female is spending more and more time in the nest which suggests she is now laying the first clutch.

This could mean an early May fledging.


[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:05:46 GMT
Calne Camera Club Yesterday I had the privilege to judge the “Open Competition” at Calne Camera Club. The standard of photography was incredible and all the winning images were of an outstanding quality. Well done to those members who made the judging very difficult but very rewarding.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:20:30 GMT
A break in the weather Well at last we have had one day of unbroken sunshine. 

I went over to Ham Wall on the Somerset Levels, where the water level was up but at least the hides and platforms were all open.  Whilst there a Bittern flew by and we were fortunate to get a head-on shot rather than the other end!

From the new hide, Herons were seen courting and I captured this shot of one landing amongst the reeds.   Fingers crossed for better weather.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Grey Heron Ham Wall bird photographic courses Mon, 17 Feb 2014 12:11:15 GMT
Wildlife at Stow Maries Little OwlLittle Owl I'm just back from a visit to Stow Maries Aerodrome, in Essex. which was home to various aircraft during the First World War.

Five breeds of owl along with hares and many other rare breeds make it their home.

This was one location at which the BBC filmed much of "The Great British Year" wildlife programme.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Charlie Bishop Little Owl Stow Maries Mon, 02 Dec 2013 09:58:32 GMT
The river's "Under new managment"! I spent last Friday (27th Sep) down on the river with Martin.  Once settled in the hides and with the feeding station stocked, we waited for "Flash" the resident male, to make an appearance. 

He has held this territory for at least two and a half years and has fathered many young.  Even with the dramas of last years' floods he and his mate still raised their young despite losing two broods.  The first was lost when the rising water level engulfed their nest and the second when a bank collapsed, again due to erosion by the floods, sadly taking their nest with it.

Flash is an unmistakable bird as he is missing his inside nail on his left foot.  But sadly last Friday he was nowhere to been seen.  Instead there is a new bird on the block, a juvenile female by the looks of things and she could well be one of Flash's own off spring.

Around a month ago I may have photographed them together but, being fiercely territorial birds now it appears now that Flash has either moved on or perhaps passed on!

The new KF is somewhat timid and tends to fish from cover; not coming out into the open.  She regularly flew by, perhaps patrolling her territory!

Fingers crossed that she does just as well as her Dad!

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bird Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Mon, 30 Sep 2013 15:39:58 GMT
July Kingfisher Update I went down to the river to find that the chicks have fledged are now independent. 

I believe the female is back on eggs and Flash (well I had to call him something) is keeping her fed. 

On the video you can see where his nail is missing from his inside toe on his left leg. 

That's how he can be easily recognised.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Mon, 01 Jul 2013 10:39:03 GMT
Male Kingfisher yawning! Male Kingfisher yawning!Male Kingfisher yawning!


Just a quick up-date.

All is quiet down on the river.

The female Kingfisher is on eggs and the male is having a rest.

Fingers crossed that they will soon hatch and it will be "All Hands on deck"!


[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Fri, 10 May 2013 14:08:57 GMT
Woodchat Shrike near Chew Valley Lake What a delightful little little bird.

Sadly it didn't sing but there's no mate to hear it!

It's down a lane near North Widcome.

This link might help you find this rare little beauty.,158299&st=4&ar=y&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf&dn=740&ax=357490&ay=158299&lm=0 Woodchat Shrike near Chew Valley Lake

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Fri, 26 Apr 2013 08:05:27 GMT
First Kingfisher Course of 2013 Fortunately the weather has now changed for the better and those cold easterlies have given way to our warmer south-westerly winds.

I'm now able to start arranging courses for those who have expressed an interest.  It’s a far more comfortable temperature for a day down by the river, photographing our halcyon friends.

Yesterday (15th April) was the first course of the year and we both came away with some great images.

The nest is some considerable distance downstream and, using two dome hides, our presence has no impact on the bird’s behaviour.

The male is busy taking fish to his mate.  This was the routine last year when we saw very little of the female until their three chicks fledged.

I’ve noticed that the resident male has a claw missing from his left inside toe. With this gem of information and looking back at last year’s images, I’m now able to confirm that he’s the same little guy as last year.

Let’s hope that he’s around for a few more years yet.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Charlie Bishop Kingfisher photography kingfisher kingfisher photography courses photographic courses Tue, 16 Apr 2013 19:48:18 GMT
At last, Bearded Tits. Finally I've been fortunate enough to spot a Bearded Tit while out on the Somerset Levels.

I had a camera with me and got a few shots off using my 70-200 with a 1.7conv.  Nothing dramatic but at long last I’ve seen this beautiful creature which has, for many years, been my bogie bird. 

"You should have been here an hour ago, there was a flock of them". So often I’ve been victim of that terrible phrase!

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Bearded Tit Bird Charlie Bishop Somerset Levels Mon, 18 Mar 2013 21:46:05 GMT
Judging at "Calne Woodlands Camera Club" Yesterday evening (17 Sep 12) I was invited to judge the annual “Natural History” print competition at the “Calne Woodlands Camera Club” in Wiltshire. 

Divided into Mono and Colour, the entries were varied from across the globe and the standard was remarkably high.  The winning images were nothing short of outstanding, reminding us that there is a great deal of talent tucked away in clubs around the country.   

It was a real privilege to meet up with such enthusiastic photographers, who even after judging, were most welcoming.

Here’s a link to their website where some of the more successful prints can be seen.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Tue, 18 Sep 2012 09:09:23 GMT
Visit to Mull, a Scottish wildlife haven. I've just returned from my first visit to Mull. Wow, what a fabulous place with a tremendous mountainous landscape.  If you don't know it's an island just off the west coast of Scotland which has become a wildlife hotspot especially for both White Tailed and Golden Eagles. August is not the best time to visit but it was my only option this year.  A ferry runs several times each day from Oban and there are numerous hotels and B&B accommodation on the island at reasonable prices.

Sadly the some of the migrants, such as the large Cuckoo population had already left and all the young raptors were on the wing.  Next year I'll go back in May and keep my fingers crossed that the weather, and therefore the light, will be suitable.

I used a guide for the first day to help get my bearings, which was money well spent.  Bryan was only too willing to share his knowledge and mark my maps with the wildlife hotspots.

If you get the chance please visit this wonderful place.


[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Golden Eagle Mull Oban White Tailed Eagle Sun, 19 Aug 2012 11:25:26 GMT
Kingfisher Update Well 2012 has had a dreadful start for the Kingfishers down on my local river. Their first nest was lost due to the floods back in April and then they were forced to abandon their second site as the river bank collapsed, again due to the heavy rainfall.

I hadn’t seen the female for several weeks and I thought she may have been lost to the bank collapsing or even lost to a preditor.

But it's not all bad news.  Yesterday (5th June 2012) I discovered that they have a new nest site some 150 metres away from the river, in the bank of a dried out pond. This new site cannot flood so fingers crossed that they will successfully raise a brood this time.

[email protected] (Charlie Bishop Wildlife Photography) Kingfisher Kingfishers Wed, 06 Jun 2012 11:03:01 GMT