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Any kingfisher experts out there?

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Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 09:05   #1
bob77777777777
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Any kingfisher experts out there?

I've visited the same nature reserve about six times this year and on the first four visits (spring and early summer) I spotted a kingfisher diving from the very same branch. I only needed to wait at most 20 mins for him to show up. Am aware they do this and will stick to the same hunting spot.

The last two visits (late summer) he was gone. I waited a good 30 mins on both occasions. Could the explanation be that while nesting, the bird will be hunting from one location near a nest, and once the young have gone the bird is liable to relocate?

Or should I go back to the same spot and keep waicthing, with the assumption that they stick to the same hunting spot whether or not they have young to feed in a nest nearby?

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Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 13:05   #2
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Whilst they will keep and defend a territory during the breeding season, things get a bit looser post breeding. There will be young about from multiple pairs with everyone trying to carve out a patch.
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Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 14:35   #3
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Not a good idea to use the same perch over and over all the time . . . a Sparrowhawk might find out and take advantage of its predictability. The less predictable it is, the longer it'll live
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Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 17:28   #4
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Not a kingfisher expert but lucky enough to have them visiting our pond almost daily for the last couple of years. They have three or four fishing perches but until recently one was most popular - I could usually rely on one using it every morning then it seemed to go out of favour. Eventually the penny dropped - weed had encroached on the area under the perch making fishing pretty much impossible - cleared a patch under the perch and they’ve come straight back. Might be worth checking to see if there’s any obstruction
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Old Saturday 19th September 2020, 23:25   #5
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Certainly not an expert, but my patch is coastal, and it is this time of year that I get a Kingfisher or two turning up, with some staying for the winter. Had a male arrive this week.
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Old Sunday 20th September 2020, 08:18   #6
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Thanks all

Thanks everyone for chiming in. Always nice to connect with fellow enthusiasts who apprecite the joys of nature.

I take the points about predators and obstructions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mono View Post
Whilst they will keep and defend a territory during the breeding season, things get a bit looser post breeding. There will be young about from multiple pairs with everyone trying to carve out a patch.
Exactly as I was thinking. I suspect the hunter or a pair of them has/have moved along now that there's no longer their nest in the vicinity. The river is teeming with fish (it's actually the very wide River Vistula in Poland, with good banks for burrows) and there doesn't appear to be much competition from other kingfishers. So I dare say there are plenty of other options for hunting perches especially up the many tree-lined tributuries which may have more cover from predators (but their banks are possibly less good for nesting than the main river).

To finally prove the thesis I will check again in the spring when they are nesting again and see if the perch is back in use!

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Old Sunday 20th September 2020, 08:27   #7
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Quote:
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Certainly not an expert, but my patch is coastal, and it is this time of year that I get a Kingfisher or two turning up, with some staying for the winter. Had a male arrive this week.
Interesting why do you think they go there for winter and what kept them elsewhere in the summer?

Is your Kingfisher ever diving in the sea? I once saw one doing this at the mouth of a river in Goa, India. Amazing stuff.
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Old Sunday 20th September 2020, 11:26   #8
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In areas where rivers freeze Common Kingfishers will move down to the sea shore in winter. During a cold snap I have seen them hunting in rock pools in the UK.
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Old Sunday 20th September 2020, 12:12   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob77777777777 View Post
Interesting why do you think they go there for winter and what kept them elsewhere in the summer?

Is your Kingfisher ever diving in the sea? I once saw one doing this at the mouth of a river in Goa, India. Amazing stuff.
My understanding is that it is a bit warmer on the coast during the winter. During the summer, I think freshwater habitat is better suited to breeding in regards to nesting sites and food supply.

And yes, I have seen them fishing in the sea, including last weeks visitor to my patch.
It is great to see.
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