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Feather in his cap: Don gets a one-in-a-million picture

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | Attractions | Published:

It took years of practice and hours of patience for one volunteer to capture this stunning picture of kingfishers beak-to-beak in Bridgnorth.

Keen photographer Don Bannister, aged 81, snapped this incredible picture of two kingfishers at the Severn Valley Country Park near Bridgnorth

Don Bannister, 81, snapped this shot while under the cover of a bird hide he built at Severn Valley Country Park.

The hide being just one of the many additions he has contributed during his 28 years of volunteering at the park, it overlooks a wetland area known to inhabit a number of colourful creatures.

"The picture was a one in a million chance," he said.

"I was sitting there for a long time with my camera ready, but you can also sit there for hours on end without success – bird photography equals patience.

"I have been interested in photography all my life and have plenty of opportunities with such a gorgeous place in the country park."

Don, from Alveley, who also chairs the Severn Valley Country Park supporters group, is one of if not the first ever volunteer to give up their time at the park when it opened in 1991.

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He added: "Having helped build the bird hide I can now sit in it and take photographs.

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"It overlooks a wetland area of the park and the kingfishers frequently visit, along with other birds."

Don sent the picture in to the Bridgnorth Journal’s Camera Club page, which has this week focused on the work of the late Hugh Stanton, a respected member of Bridgnorth Camera Club who recently died.

Since forming the park supporters committee, the 40 volunteers have successfully applied for a number of grants which council-employed park rangers are not able to do.

So far, £25,000 has been raised through grants with a further £6,000 expected to be granted in the near future.

The work of the group has also been recognised with national commendation, achieving the Queen's Award for voluntary service, the highest award in its class equivalent to an MBE.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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