End of the season

With Autumn fast approaching, the kingfisher breeding season draws to a close. The new nest site was no longer in use a week after I discovered it, so hopefully the young from the brood fledged successfully. It’s actually just as well, as the floods returned several days later and submerged the nest bank.

I’ve observed the adult male still in the proximity of the nest site, so perhaps he’ll establish this area as his winter territory.

The good news is that a few hundred yards downstream there are at least two youngsters frequenting the local wildlife trust reserve at Wolselely Bridge. I was lucky enough to get buzzed by them as they chased each other across a water meadow that I was photographing dragonflies in. There are also kingfishers present in the vicinity of the original nest bank, so the year hasn’t been a disaster for kingfishers, despite the repeated flooding and the predation of the nest by mink.

With the support of the local wildlife trust, I’ve decided to run a limited trap line to control the mink in the vicinity of the original nest site. My ambitions with this are limited as the scope of the mink problem is beyond the action of an individual to address, but I hope that by trapping during early autumn and then again in early spring I may be able to prevent a breeding territory being established by mink in this part of the river.

Thanks to everyone who has visited the diary this year and a special thanks to those of you who have contacted me; the positive feedback I’ve received has been a great source of encouragement and really helps to motivate me, especially on cold damp mornings!

All the best
Andy