The Kingfisher breeding season finished a couple of months ago, so I thought I should post a somewhat belated update on the fate of the kingfishers second brood. My final update left things somewhat hanging in mid air with the male carrying a serious eye injury at the time the first brood fledged.
The sad truth is that the male was to all intents and purposes doomed from the moment he picked up that injury and shortly after my last post I saw him for the last time and he had sustained a serious breakage to the upper part of his beak.
The timing seemed terrible as the pair had already mated for a second brood and the female was laying eggs in the new nest burrow she’d excavated virtually single-handedly.
Incredibly, what followed was an incredible feat of single parent persistence. The female incubated the brood on her own and then proceeded to feed the young in the nest. Unfortunately due to illness I was unable to get prceise timings to try and observe the fledging or judge how many young she managed to fledge, but I know that she was taking fish into the nest burrow at a time that must have been within a few days of fledging, so I’m fairly confident that the second brood would have fledged successfully.
It’s likely that the brood size would have been reduced as the female was feeding on her own, but either way, I think its pretty impressive that this female managed to handle incubation and feeding on her own over a period of 6-8 weeks.
It’s also worth mentioning that other than a couple of sightings early in the year, this stretch of the river has been free of mink this year.
Well, that’s it really for this year. There are kingfishers present on the river and as we edge towards winter they are all settling into establishing their solitary winter territories.
Hopefully next year we’ll manage to avoid flooding and predation for a second year and hopefully next years adults will prove to be less accident prone.