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kingfisher sitting on branch 3D image

I’ve never come across anyone who hasn’t been filled with wonder and excitement after seeing a kingfisher. I can still recall every single sighting I’ve ever had. More often than not they’re rather fleeting encounters, usually a blur of blue and orange flashing past.

Since moving to West Yorkshire my experiences with this iconic bird have increased in frequency and quality. Rodley Nature Reserve is a particularly good place to catch sight of a Kingfisher (if your luck’s in).

Over the last year I’ve seen the odd Kingfisher at various locations along the Burley in Wharfedale stretch of river Wharfe. On quiet days I’ve also seen them on the Goit by Greenholme Mills. Last month however I noticed that I was getting increasing glimpses of a Kingfisher by the Weir. Then one day a dog walker told me he’d seen a Kingfisher going into a hole on the opposite bank.

Alfie (my dog) and I sat down on the stoney island that sits between the two river banks by the weir and waited anxiously. After about 10 minutes I saw that familiar blur of orange and blue. Sure enough, a Kingfisher flew straight into a hole in the opposite bank! Then it started to excavate soil out the hole. Kingfishers are supposed to build their nest in pairs but I only saw one during my limited observations. My main concern was the location choice for the nest. It (or they) had chosen a spot directly beneath a popular picnic spot.

Sure enough, the following day the sun come out and so did the picnic enthusiasts! It didn’t take long for the Kingfisher/s to realise what seemed a great location might not be so perfect after all. The would-be nest was abandoned pretty quickly, but regular sightings suggest a new nesting site isn’t too far away!