Way back at the beginning of July I heard that our neighbouring village had really upped the ante when it came to urban birding. Regular readers will probably recall that my own local patch often sees Dippers and Grey Wagtails but Kingfishers? Now that would be a first. After work one night we headed over to see what was what and almost immediately spotted one of the Kingfishers a little way downstream. It was hard to follow through thick overhanging vegetation, something which certainly wasn’t a problem a few moments later. The bird flew straight towards us and perched on a branch just a few metres away before heading back the way it had come. Pretty stunning but alas the last we saw of it for the half hour or so we were present. The Dippers and Grey Wagtails were however much more visible with juveniles of both species perched either side of the bridge which formed our vantage point. Conditions were, to put it mildly, rather on the shady side so I resorted to video in an effort to capture proceedings. The results were quite pleasing.

If you’ve seen recent series of Springwatch then you may have noticed that short films based around unlikely wildlife in urban settings seems to be all the rage and I really think that these streams have great potential for producing just such a project. My equipment at present probably isn’t quite up to the task but next year? Well, we’ll have to see.

P1130973 - Mallards, Hendy

Also present on this short stretch were a couple of Pied Wagtails, Blackbirds, Wrens and a few low flying Swallows and House Martins. The cuteness award though goes to the clutch of Mallard ducklings above whose mother was sat just out of shot keeping a beady eye on what we were up to. Their small grassy island was a perfect safe haven from the traffic rushing past a few meters above and we left them still snoozing soundly.


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