Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata
The malachite kingfisher is a river kingfisher which is widely distributed in Africa south of the Sahara. It is largely resident except for seasonal climate related movements.
This is a species common to reeds and aquatic vegetation near slow moving water or ponds. The flight of the malachite kingfisher is rapid, the short rounded wings whirring until they appear a mere blur. It usually flies low over water. The bird has regular perches or stands from which it fishes. These are usually low over the water. It sits upright, its tail pointed downwards. It drops suddenly with a splash and usually returns at once with a struggling captive.
This image was captured at Marievale Bird Sanctuary, a wetland area near the town of Nigel, South Africa on a very dull and wet day. The light was poor for photography; requiring high ISO settings to get any decent shutter speeds. ISO 3200 for most of the day.
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