Watching  Nature

Never seen a Kingfisher?

If you would love to see this jewel of a bird you have to go no further than the Riverside Walk, sit on the bench for a while and you might be rewarded with your first sighting. If your hearing is good, you may hear the call first, a shrill peep peep and then a flash of electric blue as it skims low over the water in front of you.

With luck it might settle on an overhanging branch to look for any passing stickleback below. It has the amazing ability to keep its head perfectly still even though the body might be swaying up and down on a moving branch. The Kingfisher is a small bird about the size of a starling with a bright orange breast, red legs, a large head and long black bill, both male and female look the same but the female has red on the under side of the bill.

In hard winter the juveniles will travel downstream to the coast and feed along the shore line.

I once witnessed 7 kingfishers feeding and hovering along the surf at the mouth of the river Otter – an amazing sight.! Les.