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Monday 31 August 2015 – kingfisher sightings

Monday 31 August 2015 – kingfisher sightings
August 31, 2015 Anne Browse

I said I would explain a little more today about what I mean by a ‘kingfisher moment’.

I have always been excited at the sighting of a kingfisher. Back in 1989 Ken and I moved into a mobile home at the end of our garden and started to convert a tiny, damp cottage into the family home where we then lived for more than 20 years. The cottage had originally been the tool shed when work was going on in the early nineteenth century to construct this section of the Grand Western Canal. This was part of a grand scheme to link the English and Bristol Channels via Exeter and Bristol, but only the Tiverton and Taunton stretch was ever completed. The canal now runs for just eleven miles, from Tiverton until it peters out near Greenham, in Somerset.

Living right beside the towpath allowed us to overlook the canal. We had a good view from two of the bedrooms and as we sat at Sunday lunch in our dining room we would see people and dogs walking past the window. It was a very special place to live.

To see the kingfisher always makes my heart beat faster! The delight never lessens, no matter how often I experience that sighting. Friends often say that they have never seen a kingfisher, and I suppose over the years we have grown better at knowing where to look and how to stay alert to the possibility of a kingfisher being visible. Of course there are many days when the kingfisher fails to appear, or perhaps we fail to spot its appearance, but the thrill of that streak of blue down the edge of the canal, or the arrow-like diving of a fishing bird is something that simply ‘makes my day’.

More tomorrow!