I met up with a friend and we decided to go for a local walk, even though it was very dull and threatening rain. We headed out along the canal towpath, up the carriage drive towards Milner Field and back through Trench Woods and Roberts Park. Our route took us past the old mill dam, built in 1911 to supply water to the Salts Mill dye works. It's a bit dark and gloomy there at the best of times. The surrounding trees take a lot of the light so it's not the most photogenic location.
Suddenly, my friend (who has some new glasses) spotted a kingfisher! I could barely see it. (I think I need some new glasses!) It was right on the other side of the mill pond, tucked on a branch under some bushes. It sat long enough for me to attempt a photo. With my lens on its longest telephoto and a very high ISO, and even so with a quite slow shutter speed, the photos below (cropped) are the best I could manage in the short time before it flew off. We waited quietly for ages but it didn't come back. However, we were overjoyed to see it. They are not uncommon if you know where to go, but they are small and so quick, you rarely see more than a flash of blue. I've never managed a photo before.