Kingfishers

Kingfishers are small unmistakable bright blue and orange birds of slow moving or still water. They fly rapidly, low over water, and hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the water’s surface. They are vulnerable to hard winters and habitat degradation through pollution or unsympathetic management of watercourses. Kingfishers are amber listed because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe.

Family

Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Where to see them

They are widespread, especially in central and southern England, becoming less common further north but following some declines last century, they are currently increasing in their range in Scotland. Kingfishers are found by still or slow flowing water such as lakes, canals and rivers in lowland areas. In winter, some individuals move to estuaries and the coast. Occasionally they may visit garden ponds if of a suitable size.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Fish and aquatic insects.

Read more at the RSPB

Little Egret

The little egret is a small white heron with attractive white plumes on crest, back and chest, black legs and bill and yellow feet. It first appeared in the UK in significant numbers in 1989 and first bred in Dorset in 1996. Its colonization followed naturally from a range expansion into western and northern France in previous decades. It is now at home on numerous south coast sites, both as a breeding species and as a winter visitor.

Family

Bitterns and herons (Ardeidae)

Where to see them

A recent colonist, it is most common along the south and east coasts of England, and in Wales. The estuaries of Devon and Cornwall; Poole Harbour and Chichester Harbour hold some of the largest concentrations and they are also common in East Anglia. They are an increasingly common sight in inland areas too and are gradually increasing their range northwards here.

When to see them

All year round, although numbers incease in autumn and winter as birds arrive from the Continent.

What they eat

Fish

Read more at the RSPB