20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Kingfisher Photo Bomb

As we began to cross a small channel between an island in the Zambezi River and the mainland I spotted a couple of Yellow-billed Storks and a Grey Heron hunting for fish. The water was dead calm making for some nice reflections. My first objective was to get a few shots of both the Storks, the Heron and their reflections in the water. As one of the Storks moved away from the others I tracked him waiting for the moment when he would lift his yellow bill up from foraging in the water giving me a more colorful reflection of his bill. Just as he began to raise his bill up out of the water I blasted away only to be surprised by a big splash in the water right in front of him. It startled both me and the Stork. I initially thought a fruit had fallen from a tree above but as I looked up to my surprise a Pied Kingfisher was just flying away. As I reviewed my images it turned out the Kingfisher was attracted by the Stork stirring up the water and was trying to grab tiny fish (which he succeeded in doing). I had captured him in 3 of my frames one of which caught him as he was re-emerging from the water. In effect the Kingfisher had photobombed my nice portrait and I'm glad he did.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2022
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
Camera: NIKON D5
Copyright: © Bill Klipp