Wednesday 13 January 2016

The Kingfisher is Back!

You may remember around a year ago, I wrote occasionally of a kingfisher that had settled in on the Sustrans 64 cycle path last winter, feeding on sticklebacks that live in the drain running alongside London Road pond. I was hoping it was going to be a permanent fixture, but by the spring it had disappeared, presumably looking for richer waters on which to mate and raise a family.

Well yesterday, as I ran along the path just under Clay Lane bridge, there was a flash of neon blue, flying directly away from me as it ever did. The back of what I'm sure must be the very same kingfisher, back on these quiet waters for the winter, bright as a beacon in the gathering twlight.

It settled on the same small tree it used as a perch last year, but amazingly, rather than keeping its distance from me before disappearing into thicker cover, it stayed on its perch, and allowed me to slow, and have a lovely (relatively) long look at its deep red - far deeper than a robin's - breast and long stilletto of a beak.

Wasn't close enough to see any red underside of the bill to indicate whether it might have been a female, however.

Of course, our friend Murphy (the less rude brother of Sod) was busy deploying his law, which meant I didn't have my camera with me. The best I can do for you is a child feeding some clamouring geese on The Blue Lake. But hey, it was dark anyway, and if the kingfisher had seen me getting my big optical snout out, it would have been gone in a blue flash.

I don't have proof, then, for you. But I saw it, and I was cheered to my heart that it was back.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.01.16


  1. There always seems something special seeing a glimpse of those shimmering reds and blues.

  2. How is it that such a tiny splinter of life can completely change the landscape and enliven our day?
    They need water that's reasonably clear in order to fish. The recent rains have probably made all the rivers way too muddy, forcing the Kingfisher to find a new place to feed.

  3. Great news about the KF. We have one here and my best sighting was when he/ she landed on the patio fence in our garden and sat next to a Robin for a while. Of course no camera then either, but like you I smiled for the rest of the day :o)

  4. Wonderful news about the return of the Kingfisher Simon. There is always something very special about such a sighting.

  5. It must be one of those moments that almost everyone enjoys, even if they can't catch it on camera...maybe next time!

  6. lovely photos, I always find kingfishers very difficult to catch on camera so even if I'd had a camera I'd have missed it! Always wonderful to see a kingfisher. I'm lucky to see them quite frequently

  7. The sighting is usually a flash of bright blue, looking like it's been inexpertly applied to the birds back with an old brush. Indeed, lots of little fish in there, and it's shallow water

  8. I suspect that kingfisher has never been away Si - he has just been too quick for you to see.

  9. Oh I don't know Pat, I'm pretty sharp of eye! And there would have been two of them as well!