Stake out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just as I arrived at the Wandle yesterday, a caught a great view of a Kingfisher bombing downstream. However, this one didn't keep going straight in their Exocet like manner but veered off to the right to an area where it could perch. Typically this particular section is particular busy with industrial furniture (big cables and ducts going across the river etc) so I couldn't see where it landed. Occasionally when a Kingfisher flies in one direction on the river, it will fly back when disturbed (and disturbance is something that is almost constant around here). So I went back to the vantage point, got the camera out and focused it on where it was due to fly back - towards me. But then I saw it come away from the perching area and fly further downstream. Away from me dammit.

Bollocks to you sonny, I'm going to stay here holding the camera on the only area that you can use until you fly back up the river! You cannot beat my field craft! Or perhaps until my lunch is over. So I stood stock still, pointing the camera at this particular spot for about twenty minutes waiting for the inevitable urban disturbance to flush the bird back to me, but to no avail. Four trains went over the bridge, a couple of helicopters, a streetsweeping machine and a bloke pissing in a hedge all failed to flush my quarry. So the stake out continued with a couple of Coots and a stroppy Moorhen to watch. And then another Kingfisher flew past me - in quite the opposite direction to where I was expecting the initial one to return from. I rapidly and desperately fired off a couple of shots - and actually did manage to get the bird on film. Admittedly not the greatest shot, and perhaps only marginally better than a spot the ball competition, but there you go.
It is there. Honestly.
Once I began the return journey, I may have spotted one of them going back upriver from a point that is also difficult to view. But the simple fact is that I have two Kingfishers hanging around and thus a small, nay negligible chance that they could breed. It is this kind of hope that warms the heart of a patch birder. After all this Alcid excitement, I managed to pick up two Grey Wags (close together and close to where they bred last year), 17 Gadwall and a skulking Dabchick. Proper bloody birding.


Alan Tilmouth said...

Listen, never mind the Kingfisher that's a bloody Yellow Power Ranger helmet floating in the debris!

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