A Kingfisher Up Close at Fort Magsaysay

Her beautiful face and long, solid beak for catching prey.

I have long wanted to capture birds on camera but I don't have a telephoto lens.  My entry level DSLR hasn't even been working for more than a year now.  Still, every now and then God treats me with small surprises such as this early April morning while we were on a retreat at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.

 "There's a beautiful bird trapped in the lobby that keeps hitting the walls!"  -- My wife excitedly woke me up.

The poor thing would quickly flap its wings, hit its beak against the wall and fall towards the floor, seemingly dazed.  I gently caught it after two attempts and brought it out to be released -- but not until I took these photos with my tablet PC's camera.  I never had an opportunity to shoot a Kingfisher with a DSLR and a telephoto lens but there I was early that morning with my wife shooting these close up pics with a low res camera!

Fort Magsaysay, the country's largest military reservation at 35,000 square hectares (out of an original 75,000 square hectares) not only provides a venue for training our Philippine Army, house the Ninoy Aquino-Jose Diokno Memorial Shrine, and a venue for adventure/endurance sports (check these posts from the Bald Runner), but it also provides a sanctuary for some of our beautiful birds.

Her  feathers, blue and bright even without the sun's morning rays directly touching her yet.   Look at her eyes and body seemingly content and comfortable, not trying to escape.  She is actually still too dazed to make a move and fly away.

The Kingfisher is so cute and pretty I had to control myself from squeezing it with my excited hands.  A few moments later and the bird was released, never to be seen and identified again except through these photos.

Trees shading and lining the camp streets are attractive to birds

The man-made lake at "Pahingahan" not only provides training for our military but a haven for birds as well.  Photo from Wikipedia by Ramon FVelasquez


I remember the Anglican hymn I posted earlier which perfectly speaks about this little kingfisher.

1. All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
2. Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.
All things bright ...

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