|Best the old Canon could do, last January|
And poor little junior tried. And tried. And tried. Noisy undignified belly flops. Sodden feathers, which had to be groomed and tidied up. Wait a L O N G time for Lunch to decide it is safe to come out again.
But we did eventually see success. Down the hatch. We were delighted when we went to Rustenberg Rare Plant Fair to find this metal ‘bird with fish’.
|Do you mind? I can't see!|
Then not a sight or sign of them since. My sister has been staying with us, and who should turn up, while she is here? Our kingfisher!
|Then he came a little closer, into the reeds|
This one is very nearly adult. So he fishes with great skill and determination and persistence. Just like his dear old dad. He will hunt here for quite some time, but any sudden noise or movement and he is SO out of here.
|Call THAT a kingfisher? I have a body like a penguin!|
Background info from Joy Frandsen’s Birds of the South Western Cape - Malachite kingfisher. 13 cm. Magnificently colourful. The adult is a rich golden cinnamon, with a white chin. The crest is a metallic blue green, striped with black. The wings are a deep iridescent cobalt blue, and there are matching white marks on the back of the neck. The short tail shares the cobalt and cinnamon colour of the rest of the bird’s plumage. The long bill is bright red, and the legs coral. Young birds have black bills (if you look carefully, you can just see the last of the darkness fading from our bird’s bill). These birds are common at fresh water, where there is vegetation to shelter in. Breeding from September to February. Perches where it can overlook water, and dives for its prey, skimming low over the water. Feeds on (fish, none here) tadpoles, beetles and grasshoppers (mostly the Ungardener’s beloved dragonflies). Turns round very quickly on its perch.
PS As I read your comments, I remember one day walking home from work, in Aarau. Joining a few people gazing in wonder at a shimmering blue Eisvogel. The only kingfisher I ever saw in 10 years of living in Switzerland.
Photos by Jurg,
words by Diana of Elephant's Eye