Ed Partridge, ecologist and BMT Board Member is starting a regular feature called Meadow Watch. The idea is to focus on the birds, plants and animals which are found on the Meadow so that visitors know what to look out for when they are walking around. Meadow Watch will be displayed on the noticeboards on the Bishop’s Meadow.
In his first Meadow Watch, Ed has selected the Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis. Read on for more information:
Kingfishers are small, unmistakable, bright blue and orange birds of slow moving or still water. They fly rapidly, low over water, and hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the water’s surface. They are vulnerable to hard winters and habitat degradation through pollution or unsympathetic management of watercourses. Kingfishers are amber listed because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe.
Where to see them
They are widespread, especially in central and southern England, becoming less common further north. But following some declines last century, they are currently increasing their range in Scotland. Kingfishers are found by still or slow flowing water such as lakes, canals and rivers in lowland areas.
Where to look on the Bishop’s Meadow
If you are lucky you will see one flying low up and down the river or along the Tudor ditch to the weir and fish ladder on the Meadows. You can see them all year round. They eat fish and aquatic insects.