Elusive kingfishers caught on video at Washington nature reserve for first time

Kingfishers are one of the most popular birds at WWT Washington Wetland Centre. Credit: WWT Washington Wetland Centre

A kingfisher family has been captured on video for the first time at a nature reserve.

The footage confirms that the elusive birds are breeding on-site at WWT Washington Wetland Centre.

Taken by a motion sensor camera earlier this summer, the series of clips show a pair of kingfishers courting and nesting, before successfully rearing and fledging two chicks.

An adult kingfisher feeding a young bird. Credit: WWT Washington Wetland Centre

Reserve warden Andrew Diamond said he felt “blessed” to have finally captured evidence of kingfisher breeding activity – from the scraping out of the nest burrow, to the male courting the female and providing for her as she incubated their eggs, then eventually the fledging event itself.

“Here at WWT Washington, we are fortunate enough to enjoy fabulous and regular views of kingfishers using our ponds, lakes and lagoon to hunt out their favourite prey”, he said.

“From late August through to early March, these often-elusive birds are frequently observed from the comfort of our Lagoon View Hide, catching fish within the lagoon and the river reed bed.

“Once the scent of spring is fresh in the air, however, they become increasingly difficult to see and it was thought that they were going to some place off-site to breed, although there was always a suspicion that they could be breeding here. Now I know for sure!”

Mr Diamond set up a trail camera near a possible nesting site in February, which enabled him to capture the footage.

Kingfishers are one of the most popular bird species among visitors to WWT Washington’s wild reserve and in autumn, sightings of them steadily increase.

The elusive kingfishers are often hard to spot. Credit: WWT Washington Wetland Centre

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