This Sunday, I decided to have a wander around the Wetlands Centre. The sun was out and I was interested to see if anything else was too.
In a word, no. The most I could see was a couple of large Hawkers patrolling their territory, which I attempted to get a shot of. This is the best one I managed to get, which still isn't that great.
My girlfriend, Kelly, came to meet me and, at this point, I was pretty much ready to give up on the photos and settle for a cool beer.
I mentioned to Kelly that there had been a Kingfisher spotted at the wildside area of the centre earlier that morning, which she was very keen to find, as I was. So, rather than wandering around aimlessly in the hope that we stumble across it, we started to have a walk around the ponds to see if we could find the Heron we'd seen flying in a few minutes earlier. After a few minutes Kelly announced, "I think I've just seen something". What, exactly, she didn't say but then we both saw it; a flash of blue. A flash caught out of the corner of my eye was all it was but we were both convinced it was the Kingfisher, which was soon confirmed by a couple of bird watchers who said it had been flying around for a little while.
Alas, it had flown off and I, for one, was gutted. So close to seeing my first Kingfisher properly and the only photo I had managed to get was a blurry shot containing a jumble of unfocussed greenery with no blue whatsoever. The bird watchers had wandered off to the other side of the pond and I thought the chance was over.
But then I was waved over to the other side of the pond and, when I got there, I was greeted with this.
An absolutely beautiful, bright blue, male Kingfisher. I watched it for a few minutes through a combination of my camera and my binoculars but, to be honest, it was a bit far away. So I decided to try to get closer, which meant climbing through the trees and undergrowth which wasn't ideal in shorts and t-shirt. It was definitely worth it though; I ended up about 2 metres from where he was perched.
And then, after about an hour or so, he flew off. That was ok though as I was perfectly happy with the time I'd spent watching a Kingfisher in the sun which was a nice 30th birthday present. He didn't catch any fish that we saw but then there will be other days to see that.
And anyway, it was time for a refreshing cider in the Red Lion pub garden, where a Robin stopped by to say hello.