Kingfishers usually come to the reserve in the autumn when breeding pairs split up and the year’s fledglings spread out to look for their own territories. This year, after such a long period of drought, things might be different.
Many people associate kingfishers with rivers and are surprised to see them here, fishing in our little streams. But they are tiny birds, really no bigger than a sparrow, and they are hunting for little fish; sticklebacks are a favourite and we usually have plenty. A low perch over shallow, clear, slow-moving or still water makes for a good fishing territory and the Lambrok can provide all that in a normal year.
A gallery of kingfishers spotted and photographed in the reserve in the past four years.
But the main Lambrok Stream is still little more than a trickle and the tributary that should flow through the big pond isn’t even that; it’s a series of muddy puddles. It’s difficult to say how long it will be before there are fish enough in the stream to attract a kingfisher. We are monitoring the water levels anxiously.
If anybody has seen or photographed a kingfisher in the reserve this autumn, please write and tell us or send in pictures. We would be very interested and it would help us understand how the drought has affected the reserve’s wider biosphere.