I’m glad I took a sandwich and flask on today’s kingfisher hunt as I was searching for 7 hours in the end – and it was a warm day too! I started by watching the nest for an hour but that was completely quiet. So was the wooded stretch along the river. Then I went to the mill pond at Cotterstock and thanks to the kindness of some residents got a great view from the other side of the mill race and also of the full length of the stream that runs out of the pond and rejoins the river.
No luck there, but it was good to check out parts of the territory I can’t usually access. After four hours without seeing or hearing a thing I was beginning to run out of ideas. It’s probably the longest time I’ve spent by the river without seeing or hearing a kingfisher all year. Maybe they’d moved the chicks further downstream towards Tansor?
Then as I passed the nest on the way back a kingfisher carrying a fish flew high overhead on a great wheeling arc towards the wooded part of the river – good news, as that’s where I’ve have seen fledglings in previous years (and thought I heard chick sounds yesterday) and there is a clear view across the river on that stretch.
I sat in various places on the bank opposite the trees and eventually came back to where the brook from Glapthorn meets the main river. There’s plenty of cover there and it’s isolated from the path. The main river and streams below the weirs are still a little muddy and fast flowing but the brook at that point is very calm.
Eventually a bird flew in noisily from behind and banked into the trees following the line of the brook. It could have been my imagination, but I thought I heard answering calls before it would have reached the other side of the wood.
I went back to Cotterstock and crossed to the other side of the river so I could go into the trees where the kingfisher had flown. Nothing happened while I was there, and it’s unlikely that I would have got a clear view if it had, but it feels like things are getting warmer. It may be that in the coming days the fledglings will move to the ivy covered tree roots at the edge of the river where I’ve seen them before. Hopefully I’ll spot them then. I was footsore when I got home but it had been worth it.