Friday, 3 July 2015

Kingfishers Fledge

2 Juvenile Kingfishers at Gadespring © Elaine Rushton
(Shot at ISO6400 in very low light)

I wasn’t able to go to the Gadespring Open Day last Sunday but Elaine Rushton let me know the good news that the Kingfisher family had joined in. On the previous day, Elaine had spotted 3 Kingfishers together and was able to photograph 2 of them after the third took flight. It transpired that the 2 posing for photographs were this year’s offspring, maturing well and seemingly catching fish that were rather tricky to a) kill and b) get down! It’s wonderful news that this species continues to thrive on the river Bulbourne and bring that little bit of magic into our days when we happen to encounter them.

    © Elaine Rushton
    © Elaine Rushton

Features of juvenile Kingfishers:
  • Dark brown/red feet rather than bright, light red
  • Dark "mucky orange" breast feathers rather than orange
  • All juveniles have all-black bills so it's not possible to sex them at this age
  • White tip to bill because it can take time for the pigment to develop. This feature can last into adulthood so some caution is needed.

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It is important to note that Gadespring Cress Beds is still being developed & due to health & safety will only be available for access, other than to wildlife monitors & work parties, at organised events & at times when there is a weekend volunteer warden on duty. General public access is a possibility for the future & this could only happen once the wildlife hide is relocated after planning permission. Keep an eye on this website & blog, as well as the Box Moor Trust website, for details of open days & organised public events when you can visit & explore Gadespring.