Kingfisher Disaster

August 20, 2017 at 6:33 pm

Kingfisher 3
For 45 years I have been filming and closely monitoring breeding Kingfishers on a small stretch of one of Lancashires main rivers. During that time there have been many successes but also a fair number of failures.
Three years ago one pair tried three times to rear young and on each occasion the young were drowned in the nest-chamber as the water levels of the river rose in spate floods. Last year there was no flooding and two broods of young fledged successfully.
This year the Kingfishers decided to nest on a small tributary stream to the main river which meant it was impossible for the tunnel to be flooded. Unfortunately the stream ran through a field where the farmer released his young cattle from May onwards. One week before fledging the first brood of young were suffocated in the nest-chamber when the earth above collapsed due to the weight of cattle. Unperturbed two weeks later the Kingfishers dug a new tunnel and stated again. Last month, when the young Kingfishers were within a week of fledging again, the cattle returned and this time totally demolished the whole bank! A sad end to all their work this year and failures that would have gone unrecorded had I not been closely monitoring this pair. Click here