Kingfisher glimpses

I’ve just got back from a lovely week staying on the banks of the River Otter, in my homeland of Devon. While I’m secretly a little disappointed not to see any of the river’s namesake (not that I expected to), I’m delighted that I got some glimpses of that jewel among British birds, the kingfisher.

I’ve always found British kingfishers very elusive. While I’ve had good views of kingfishers in Africa and India, until a couple of years ago I’d never seen one in this country. Last week I was able to see a kingfisher several times. There’s something magical about seeing a flash of electric blue dart past. In my view they are the most beautiful birds this country is home to.

It’s been my ambition to get a good photo of a kingfisher for years. Sadly the kingfishers were not very cooperative, preferring to perch in trees that still had plenty of leaves to obscure them. I didn’t have the patience (nor the thermal layers) to wait in the near freezing temperatures for the perfect shot. But I would love to return in spring, when they will be busy fishing to feed their young, and the weather might be slightly kinder to a keen but warmth-loving photographer.

So, in the absence of a decent photo of a kingfisher by me, I can only suggest you have a look at these beautiful watercolour images of kingfishers by the wonderfully talented painter Jean Haines. Details of where you can see her work can be found on her website.

2 thoughts on “Kingfisher glimpses”

  1. One or two Belted Kingfishers visit my ponds throughout the year. They are often absent for a few weeks, and then I hear that loud “chittering” as they fly over the water. Here is a photo of one of them: Sorry to be such a bother, but these birds are a big part of my life.

    1. Nice photo! Sounds like you are very lucky with your avian visitors – it must be amazing having barn owls and kingfishers visit your garden! Thanks for your comments – they’re no bother, and it’s fascinating to hear about the wildlife in your part of the world. As you can tell from this blog, I’m rather fond of birds too… ;0)

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