Some gems are found at places where you least expected them to be.
More often than not, the public expects bird photos are taken at national parks, gardens and bird sanctuaries throughout the world. In general this expectation is true. However, depending on the species some of the most beautiful ones could also be found in your backyard.
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo Atthis) is a winter visitor to Borneo. Found in Europe and North of Asia, it amazes me how this 15cm flyer darted through the elements every September to migrate to Borneo and only to fly back sometime in April every year. It's a miracle and I could imagine only a handful could make it every year.
If you happen to live by a padi fields, rivers or swamps here in Borneo, you have a good chance to find them there. Usually prefers small twigs overhanging the water, you would also want to check out on top of the fences or dead branches not too high from the water.
I have had many encounter with this tiny jewels. The Common Kingfisher colors is a bit paler compared to the local Blue-eared Kingfisher which is also similar in size, but that doesn't mean they're not beautiful. A bit skittish, I have to say I have a lot of frustrating hours with them before.
This year I have to admit I have a better luck. Thanks to my good buddies who shared the location with me, I had two weekends to try my luck.
I have never gone as close as 30m to this bird before, but this year I was merely 6m away from this guy and without a hide. If there's only one tip to share I would say stay low, avoid eye-contact and be very silent and no sudden movements...and yeah, keep your flash for other uses.
Cheers and Happy birding!