The sad demise of a river queen

There seems to be quite a bit of kingfisher activity at the moment – I’ve regularly seen them zipping up and down the river and through the adjacent woodland in recent weeks and in fact I nearly drove into one yesterday morning as I drove over the bridge on the way into the reserve! Possibly if I hadn’t made my customary pause to check up and down stream for kingfisher (or otter! Well you never know!) as I crossed I there may have been a collision! Instead it popped up over the top of the rail, sped over my bonnet and dived back down over the other railing before zipping around the corner in that unmistakable flash of electric blue and vivid orange! This afternoon, while having lunch with Poulner Infant school in between pond dipping, woodland and clay activities, a couple of visitors reported a dead kingfisher in the river beneath the Dockens Water/Living River information display so I dutifully set off to see if it was still there… which it was:

Having retrieved it I took it back up to the centre to talk about it and show it to those children that wished to see it, and in fact it was they that noticed that it was a ringed bird (my excuse is I was pre-occupied with them and everything else going on more than the bird!) – and this of course then gave us something else to talk about!

The orange lower part of the beak (not pictured, doh!) is indicative of it being a female (male kingfishers have all black beaks) and hence the blog title. I have reported it to the BTO, but suspect that it is a bird that has been ringed by Kevin on one of the regular ringing sessions that he and trainees have undertaken at the reserve in recent years, but it may not have been – BTO will of course get back to us, but Kevin will no doubt do so before hand to confirm whether or not it is indeed one of “his” birds: SB90222.

There were no obvious signs of what had caused the birds death, but unless it was the same bird that had nearly collided with my car and then been more unfortunate, I suspect that it is the victim of a territorial dispute.

Other than that I have little to report having been busy teaching or sat in the office doing admin all day. However, there is a very notable absence of siskin and redpoll, the mute swan is still sitting on the nest outside Ivy North Hide (where there was also a shelduck feeding at the end of the day), visitors reported at least 7 singing chiffchaff between Goosander and Lapwing Hides and I have thoroughly enjoyed the very distinctive and heady scent of spring arising from the willows now heavy with bright yellow, furry. catkins and buzzing with bee’s all day.

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One thought on “The sad demise of a river queen

  1. As suspected Kevin has got back to us to confirm that this was one of the birds that he has ringed – at Goosander Hide on 15th August last year.

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