Wildlife artist to star on Springwatch show

Wildlife artist Robert E Fuller with one of his kingfisher paintings.
Wildlife artist Robert E Fuller with one of his kingfisher paintings.

The remarkable story of how a local wildlife artist filmed inside a kingfisher’s nest will feature on a TV show.

Former Woldgate School pupil Robert E Fuller is to appear on Springwatch Unsprung on BBC2 at 6.30pm on Thursday (8 June) to talk about how he filmed the secret life of one of Britain’s best loved birds.

He will be interviewed live on Unsprung by presenter Chris Packham, about how he uses video to research animal behaviour closely to inform his paintings.

Mr Fuller, who spends months watching and photographing animals and birds in the wild in order to paint them accurately, has gathered some of the world’s best quality colour footage as part of his research for a painting.

He achieved this by building an artificial mud bank, which he made to look as authentic as possible by sticking sand, soil, peat and tree roots onto his hide. He also made a bespoke nesting chamber inside the hide and rigged this with surveillance cameras lit by tiny 2mm LED lights.

He said: “I couldn’t believe my luck when just days after I had put the whole artificial bank and hide up I noticed a kingfisher fly past.

“In a matter of weeks, the kingfisher had found a mate and was using my artificial nest box.

“Four of the chicks have hatched and I followed the lives of the young kingfisher family daily, watching as the male and female take it in turn to brood.

“It’s been incredible to watch what happens inside the nest and learn how the male and female interact.

“The female appears to be a less attentive parent than the male.”