by alice | Feb 24, 2017 |

Where to see . . . Kingfishers


Kingfishers are very striking with their brilliant plumage of blue and orange. While you think this might make them stand out against the backdrop of the green Suffolk countryside, kingfishers can be notoriously difficult to spot. Even the keenest of eyes might miss them as they flash by, so it helps to have a starting point for where best to spot them.

Lackford Lakes is a Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve near Bury St Edmunds. With resident kingfishers, there is no better place to begin the lookout for this stunning birds. With a new reed hide and aptly named Kingfisher Trail, keep your eyes peeled to spot this beautiful bird.

Top Tip! Keep an eye out for the Lackford Lakes Twitter account as they often repost visitor’s sightings and photographs of the different species to see.

With distributaries running off the River Alde, there are numerous secret waterways just shy of the Suffolk coastline which are ideal spots for kingfishers. Shingle Street is perhaps a surprising place to imagine as a haven for kingfishers, but if you can bear to turn your back on the sea view, you might just be in luck and spot a kingfisher darting about.

RSPB Minsmere is a good place to spot a kingfisher, along with a number of other bird species to be spotted at this reserve. Seen around the Wildlife Lookout, this is a good place to head at Minsmere if you’re after a kingfisher, as well as along the walk to the Bittern Hide.

Kingfishers have also been spotted along the River Deben, with sightings from the river wall before you reach Kyson Hill and further inland around the Letheringham area. Stay on the lookout for a low hanging branch which might make an ideal perch for a kingfisher as it scouts the water below for, well, fish!

Did you know?

  • The latin name for a kingfisher is alcedo atthis

  • There are three subfamilies of kingfisher: river kingfishers (alcedinidae), water kingfishers (cerylidae) and tree kingfishers (halcyonidae)

  • There are nearly 90 different species of kingfisher found across the world but one only species breeds in Europe

  • The kingfisher does not have a song, however the sound of its flight is very distinct - a shrill whistle

  • Kingfishers will have 2 or 3 broods a year, with as many as 10 eggs in a nest

Kingfishers are tough to spot, given how quickly they fly - darting into the water like an arrow to snare an unsuspecting fish. Patience is key - and so is luck, and we wish you well on your search.

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