April 2017 - Warrens

Natures Eye ...

I have been away travelling during the first weeks of April and returned home to find my local bluebells in full bloom, and looking spectacular. This is such a wonderful time of year and to see our countryside filled with such colour once more gives me so much inspiration to get back outside. So, at the first opportunity I visited my favourite patch of woodland a couple of miles from home and took some pictures.

It's a bank holiday weekend and it's the first time I have been to the stream for almost 3 weeks. I am completely clueless what has been happening with our local Kingfishers at a critical time of the year. I have missed the courtship of late March and early April, if there has been any of course. 

My last update in March we had a female here, but courtship had yet to materialise and the pair was still relatively uneasy in each others company.

The first thing I notice is how quickly the banks of the stream has turned from a dull brown to vivid green as the nettles and reeds are quickly covering the ground. The hide has almost been taken over by the plant life for the short time I have abandoned it whilst travelling.

I place the camera onto the tripod and notice the rich colours of the foliage through the view finder immediately. I am not expecting much from today, just a glimpse of the Kingfisher(s) would be a welcome sign to know that everything is as normal.

Within 15 minutes the familiar shape of a Kingfisher flies upstream to a perch, it's nice to see natures business resumes regardless of any visits from me. 

It's the male, I wonder is he feeding chicks ? He seems relaxed, enjoying the sunshine that is burning away the thicker clouds above us. He sits motionless for a while watching the clear water passing beneath him.

The Kingfisher gives me impression he is not feeding young, or even returning to the nest to feed the female. Being away from the stream for a few weeks I am at a loss of what is going on.

The Kingfisher is with me for 45 minutes for his first visit. Occasionally plucking minnows from the water and consuming for himself before returning to a nearby perch to groom or to sit in the sun.

I only have a couple of hours to spare this morning and the Kingfisher returns regularly to his perch, the evident thing is that it's only the male again. During the week I will spend more time here and hopefully get a better understanding of what is going on.

Fingers crossed that we will have chicks to feed soon !

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