A flash of electric blue—that's as intimately as most people will ever know the common kingfisher. But it suffices. . "Everyone in England who has ever seen one will remember where they saw it," says photographer and kingfisher thrall Charlie Hamilton James. "I saw my first one when I was a boy. I've been completely obsessed ever since." For a few years he traipsed empty-handed after the bird near Bristol, in southwest England. Later, to justify the hours spent on the gloomy riverbanks that kingfishers haunt, he took along a camera. That was 20 years ago.