Location, Location, Location – David Plummer’s Kingfisher Hide
by Peter Hanscomb
David Plummer, a professional wildlife photographer and conservationist based in south east England offers a range of different photographic days both in the UK and overseas and has exclusive access to a variety of hides. With opportunities to photograph Tawny Owls , Woodpeckers , Buzzards , Badgers the list goes on and on . ( for full details click here ) David offers options which include hide hire by the day or one to one tuition . Myself and Graham decided to hire David’s Kingfisher hide located deep in the countryside just south of Horsham , West Sussex.
© Graham Stewart
The hide is a good two hours plus drive from our base in Wiltshire so we decided to stay in a local B & B the night before ( more details later ) so after a hearty breakfast we drove the short distance to meet David. After a brief introduction and equipment check , David drove us to the hide located about 1/4 mile away. My first tip would be think about the gear you need or more importantly the gear you don’t need , the hide option we chose is unsupervised so we could finish when we wanted , but there is a 1/4 mile walk back to the car ! After a proper introduction at the hide , David passed on a few tips and information about the Kingfisher and once we we were settled in and happy he left us to enjoy are day.
The hide itself is located on the edge of a small lake , surrounded by woodland and in a wonderfully peaceful location. The pop up tent style hide was surprisingly spacious inside , plenty of room for both myself and Graham and all our gear. Second tip , toilet facilities are back at the car park ! Two fold out chairs are provided in the hide, and you get really close to the action happening less than 2 – 3 metres away. As with any activity in remote locations, it’s advisable to wear decent boots , the walk in and out is via a track through a wooded bank.
Once settled in we had a lengthy wait for the Kingfisher to show up , definitely you need patience but the end result is worth the wait. Several Kingfishers arrived , fish were caught and consumed and all the required shots taken. The Kingfisher really is a magical little bird and this hide set up is a great way to get close , watch , learn and photograph this bird. A decent tripod is a must together with a 300 – 500mm lens and we both used variations of Sigma’s 150/500 on the day. We decided to call it a day around 4pm after 6 hours in the hide. We simply packed all our gear , zipped up the hide door and walked back to the car.
The hide is in a great location and David is a fantastic host . You get up close and personal with the Kingfisher with the opportunity to get some great shots .The hide cost us £ 250.00 to hire for the day , value for money ? absolutely. We both had a great day Photographing a fascinating subject.
We decided to stay the night before in near by Dial Post at the Crown Inn, a free house owned and run by Penny and James Middleton Burn. The room we stayed in was a little basic , however it was en-suite with tea and coffee and bottled water provided. At £45.00 for a twin room you can’t really argue with the value for money and the room was spotless. If the room was basic , the pub itself is not. A warm welcome from the friendly staff , a good choice of beer and a fantastic evening meal which was only surpassed by the stunning breakfast. They even made us a packed lunch for the following day. I would have no problem at all recommending this cracking village pub / B&B.
David Plummer www.davidplummerimages.co.uk
The Crown Inn www.crown-inn-dialpost.co.uk