#30DaysWild No 11. A kingfisher Visits The Eco Lodges

Kingfishers are occasional and much loved visitors to Wheatland Farm’s Devon Eco Lodges. But we’ve never seen a young bird, until….

….Look what turned up while Euan was doing his covid home schooling in the kitchen this morning. This must surely be a young kingfisher. They all have short stubby tails, but when you look at the length of the main flying feathers on the wing they seem very short still. Euan was the only person around (we were doing some renovations in Nuthatch Lodge), so he grabbed a bit of shaky footage on his phone. The bird was right outside the window for several minutes, before flying off. We asked if it had flown into the glass, but Euan didn’t think so. At any rate, it left and wasn’t around when we went looking later.

Kingfishers nest in tunnels within banks overlooking water – at streams and rivers usually. And although we have the seasonal stream through Popehouse Moor SSSI, we’ve never seen evidence of kingfishers nesting here at Wheatland Farm. So perhaps the nest is somewhere on a neighbour’s land, along a stronger part of the stream.

Apparently, kingfisher parents only feed the chicks for about 4 days after they leave the nest, and then the adults drive the young away from the territory. The birds have to establish their own boundaries, and kingfishers need to eat their own weight in fish every day.

So we’ve renewed the Kingfisher perch at the fishing pond, in the hope that we’ll see more of this beautiful bird over the summer. That was our Random Act of Wildness for #30DaysWild no. 11.

If you’re staying in Otter Cottage, or in the twin rooms at Balebarn Lodge, over the summer, do glance out of the window occasionally, and if you see a flash of brilliant blue be sure to tell us!

#30DaysWild Previously

This time last year: We were appreciating the birds. Clearly it’s not just this quieter summer that is filled with song.

This time in 2018: The Emperor dragonflies were laying eggs at the pond. This year we saw them rather earlier.

This time in 2017: We were sky gazing while remembering someone who had passed away, and all the good things she did for us. Somehow that still seems relevant in 2020.