Secret Life of the Shannon — Ireland’s wildlife in intricate slow-motion

Kingfisher, Secret Life of the Shannon

A kingfisher — captured in super slow-motion HD detail with the special Phantom camera.

The Secret Life of the Shannon is a brand new two-part documentary exploring the amazing life on Ireland’s iconic River Shannon. It airs this coming Sunday the 26 May at 6:30pm on RTÉ One as part of RTÉ Goes Wild season.

The second episode will air the following week, same time, same place.

Credit where credit is due, it’s great to see Ireland’s national broadcaster highlight Ireland’s amazing natural heritage in this way. Let’s hope it is a sign of things to come: a catalyst for more home-grown wildlife and nature programming over the years ahead.

Produced by Emmy Award Nominated Irish production company Crossing The Line films, and featuring Emmy Award Winning wildlife cameraman Collin Stafford-Johnson, the series uses a special Phantom high-speed camera to capture stunning high-definition images in super-slow-motion. The resulting footage reveals extraordinary detail, and reveals the subtle  nuances of behaviour that the naked eye simply isn’t quick enough to notice.

Here’s some astonishing footage of a fishing kingfisher to whet your appetite — it really is remarkable.

For another sample check out this clip from the RTÉ newsroom.

Don’t forget to tune in on Sunday 26 May and Sunday 02 June, RTÉ One at 6:30pm for more amazing footage — and don’t forget to tell us what you think of this series and other Irish wildlife television in the comments below.

About Calvin Jones

Calvin Jones is a freelance writer, author, birder and lifelong wildlife enthusiast. He is founder and managing editor of He is also the tour leader and wildlife guide on our West Cork based Discover Wildlife tours.
Calvin is also co-author of bestselling digital marketing titles and offers digital business consulting services and training through Digital Marketing Success


  1. Superb photography – but i still suspect a fish tank in the stream was used.
    Nonetheless – excellent – and I’d be proud of it.

    I can’t seem to find episode 1 on the RTE iPlayer – any ideas?


    • Hi Brendan,

      Thanks for the comment… not sure about the fishtank in the stream theory… but would be good to find out more about how they got the underwater shots.

      The reason it’s not on RTE Player yet is that the first show doesn’t air until Sunday 26/05 — it should be available on the online player after that.

  2. Thanks Calvin – I will try to read the posts in their entirety next time!


    • No worries… looking forward to watching on Sunday… should be good… although if the weather’s good I may have to record it and watch later. Gardening to be done, apparently :-(.

  3. Siobhan OConnor says:

    Amazing shots. Well done. It’s great to see the Shannon brought to life.

  4. Nancy J. Poholsky says:

    AMAZING! where can I purchase this for xmas gifts? Saw it on PBS some time ago but they don”t have it for sale.

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