The Kingfisher…


Sometimes it can take almost a whole lifetime for a desire of the heart to be realised…

Years ago, (probably around the time of my tenth birthday) I was given an album filled with pictures of British Nature. Although I’m no Twitcher, my favourite full-page, glossy photo was of a majestic looking Kingfisher perched on a branch above a stream, the colours of its plumage vibrant and shimmering in the dappled sunlight…


For the next more-than-five-decades, catching sight of this bird in real-life seemed as elusive to me as the happily-ever-after stories trapped between the jackets of the rest of the books on my shelf—

—until the middle of last week—-

For the occassion of a friend’s birthday, we were taken for a drive through Devon countryside to the Seaton Wetlands, marvelling on the way at the Autumn scenery with its gold and copper tones—

At our destination, we found a round wooden shack serving as a bird-hide overlooking a lagoon where our binoculars brought the sight of gulls, curlews and other waders pecking at the mudflats and bays of the islands as they sought nourishment, closer to us— Sweeping our gaze across the tranquil water we watched ducks and geese dipping and diving in their search for tasty fish—

The posters around the walls of the hide helped us to identify each species and indicated that Kingfishers were also natives of this idyllic habitat—

“I’d so love to see one—” I remarked to my friend—

“Over there on the sandy inlet—” softly spoke a gentleman further along the bench, his eye fixed to his telescope—

Following his direction, we focused on the ridge of the little island, my idea being that we were looking for something about the size of an owl as the image in the treasured book of my childhood came back to my mind—

“I can’t see it—” I told our guide—

“Come and look through here—” he invited—

As I concentrated on gazing through the eye-piece, there, nestled amongst the grasses enjoying the afternoon sunshine, was a little feathered ball of electric-blue and green, hardly bigger than a sparrow! The Kingfisher I’d waited all these years to see—-

(Photos courtesy of Google ‘cos I’m not adept at juggling binos and camera at the same time!)

—sometimes it really is the smallest things that fill the biggest place in one’s heart— so much so, that the enthusing over retelling the tale resulted in this gift being presented to me at the weekend—

— and you remember I spoke about the happy-ever-after tales being as elusive as the Kingfisher—well— no sooner had this little fella come into my home than quite a catch of happiness arrived my gate— but that’s an entirely different story—- 😉 xx


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