09 November 2012

The Kingfisher

Adult male has all black bill
Paul Tyrrell wrote: The kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) is one of our most colourful and in my opinion beautiful British birds, but also one of the most difficult to see. Most people, if they see anything at all, see just a flash of bright blue or emerald green and orange.

Here in Gower, now is one of the best times to see these great little birds, there are two main reasons for this; the first being that many of the inland birds move down to the coast for the winter, where the temperature can be one or two degrees higher, this may not sound like much but it can make the difference between the water ways freezing or not, which to a kingfisher may mean life or death, the second is simply with the loss of leaves and the die back of water side vegetation they are just easier to spot.
Female has orange lower mandible
At this time of the year most if not all of our streams and rivers will have at least one kingfisher on them. I myself have seen them at Bishopston Valley and Pwlldu where I saw one flying across the bay. Ilston Valley down to Three Cliffs and Oxwich. The sea wall at Cwm Ivy and any of the pills along the marsh road are also excellent places to look out for kingfisher. I have also been told by others who have seen them in Clyne Valley, Blackpill and in cold weather, even Oxwich point.

So next time you’re out and about near any of our local waters and you catch a glimpse of this wonderful bird, take the time and find somewhere out of the way, sit down quietly, watch and wait, you may be there for some time, but not always and if you are lucky enough to see a Kingfisher at close quarters it's something you will never forget.

All photos (c) Paul Tyrrell

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice Photos!