Magical Kingfishers

Water sparkled through overhanging leaves and moorhens circled amongst the reeds at the water’s edge.  Suddenly a patch of blue moved on a branch next to me, and I found myself staring at a kingfisher’s back.


I held my breath as he adjusted his position and now he is face on!  His glowing orange breast, warm in the low autumn sun light, resembled the neigbouring leaves.  I say ‘his’, it was clear he was a he because of his all dark large bill; the females having an orange lower mandible.

After several more realignments, he dived into the water.  Seconds later, he emerged in a cloak of fine droplets and regained his perch without a prize.  Magic!  I urged him to try again but he had spotted something, and in a split-second vanished in a rainbow flash.  I continued to nibble on my sandwich.


I’ve always known kingfishers were magical.  They were one of my first birds to grace my childhood adventures around Mote Park.  This week I have been fortunate to have a number of encounters along the River Medway, River Cray, River Len, and, rather incredibly, in my little garden pond!!!  How it found my garden I’ll never know, begging the question: can Kingfishers smell, or sense, water?  I have tried searching lots of sources to see if anybody has found the answer to my question but without success.  But Kingfisher is now top of my garden bird list, an encounter I never dreamt I’d have from the kitchen window!

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(1) Comment

  1. John McDonald

    Hi Simon the magic never goes, 20 years ago when I built my spring fed pond in Loose I put an angled stick over the pond and was able to photograph the kingfisher there while hiding in the conifers, and just this week two on the brooks in Loose Regards John McDonald

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