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Have you seen any kingfishers or herons?

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I've just seen this rather worrying article, has anyone noticed any drop in heron or kingfisher numbers?


I can't remember seeing either so far this year....




I've seen plenty of herons and kingfishers this winter but the freeze up was not too bad around here. Also seen egrets, sky larks.


In '63 the kingfishers returned within a couple of years - plenty of vacant territories for the young - they have big broods.


More worrying is the lack of coots and moorhens except on lakes behind electric fences; I'll let you work out the reason for that decline!

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If you are old enough to remember a number of hard winters as far back as 1947, 1962 and a few others, you realise that fish-eating birds such as herons, grebes and kingfishers are just as intelligent as anglers :P


ie if the lakes and canals are frozen up they seek running water with fish in it !


The need for running water (with or without fish) also goes for birds (almost all UK birds) which require to drink.


The birds that really suffer in an extremely hard winter are the tiny birds such as goldcrests, wrens and titmice. That's due to lack of food/fuel to maintain their body temperature.


Hard on the ones that succumb, and sad to see the tiny bodies, but all of them lay plenty of eggs (5 or more - up to ten) and may have several broods. So the survivors will have the woods and food supply all to themselves and will do well, and numbers soon increase over a couple of years.


Have seen that happen several times in my lifetime.


It's only recently the eco-worriers have seen doom and gloom in the scenario.

Edited by Vagabond



RNLI Governor


World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501


"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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Yes, I've seen the usual numbers on my local stretches of the Mole, including a pair chasing

each other noisily up and down the river for half the day. Seen a few herons as well this year.

I was slightly hoping that the local parakeet population might have taken a bit of a hit, but the

noisy buggers seem to have adapted (a bit too) well!

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Can't say I've noticed any discernable drop in kingfisher or heron sightings when I've been out. In fact I see a kingfisher basically at least once every time I go fishing which is lovely. I actually think they are more common than people think. I wouldn't read too much into the doom and gloom nonsense that the media perpetuate! N

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. ~John Buchan


Fundamentally fishing is a philosophy. A philosophy of earth, and growth, and quiet places. In it there is a rule of life, a recognition of permanences. It makes you notice the little things of nature, wherever you may be. ~Bernard Venables

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Seen 1 King Fisher at Bury Hill back in January and they all ways have a few Heron about the place. I saw about 10 Heron along the edge of the ice back in February when the main lake was half frozen.



Species Caught 2014

Zander, Pike, Bream, Roach, Tench, Perch, Rudd, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Eel, Grayling, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout

Species Caught 2013

Pike, Zander, Bream, Roach, Eel, Tench, Rudd, Perch, Common Carp, Koi Carp, Brown Goldfish, Grayling, Brown Trout, Chub, Roosterfish, Dorado, Black Grouper, Barracuda, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Jack Crevalle, Tarpon, Red Snapper

Species Caught 2012
Zander, Pike, Perch, Chub, Ruff, Gudgeon, Dace, Minnow, Wels Catfish, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Roach, Bream, Eel, Rudd, Tench, Arapaima, Mekong Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Marbled Tiger Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Thai Redtail Catfish, Batrachian Walking Catfish, Siamese Carp, Rohu, Julliens Golden Prize Carp, Giant Gourami, Java Barb, Red Tailed Tin Foil Barb, Nile Tilapia, Black Pacu, Red Bellied Pacu, Alligator Gar
Species Caught 2011
Zander, Tench, Bream, Chub, Barbel, Roach, Rudd, Grayling, Brown Trout, Salmon Parr, Minnow, Pike, Eel, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Koi Carp, Crucian Carp, F1 Carp, Blue Orfe, Ide, Goldfish, Brown Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, Golden Tench, Golden Rudd, Perch, Gudgeon, Ruff, Bleak, Dace, Sergeant Major, French Grunt, Yellow Tail Snapper, Tom Tate Grunt, Clown Wrasse, Slippery Dick Wrasse, Doctor Fish, Graysby, Dusky Squirrel Fish, Longspine Squirrel Fish, Stripped Croaker, Leather Jack, Emerald Parrot Fish, Red Tail Parrot Fish, White Grunt, Bone Fish
Species Caught 2010
Zander, Pike, Perch, Eel, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Mirror Carp, Common Carp, Crucian Carp, Siamese Carp, Asian Redtail Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Rohu, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Pacu, Long Tom, Moon Wrasse, Sergeant Major, Green Damsel, Tomtate Grunt, Sea Chub, Yellowtail Surgeon, Black Damsel, Blue Dot Grouper, Checkered Sea Perch, Java Rabbitfish, One Spot Snapper, Snubnose Rudderfish
Species Caught 2009
Barramundi, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Wallago Leeri Catfish, Wallago Attu Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Mrigul, Siamese Carp, Java Barb, Tarpon, Wahoo, Barracuda, Skipjack Tuna, Bonito, Yellow Eye Rockfish, Red Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Black Fin Snapper, Dog Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Marble Grouper, Black Fin Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Mutton Snapper, Redhind Grouper, Saddle Grouper, Schoolmaster, Coral Trout, Bar Jack, Pike, Zander, Perch, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Common Carp, Golden Tench, Wels Catfish
Species Caught 2008
Dorado, Wahoo, Barracuda, Bonito, Black Fin Tuna, Long Tom, Sergeant Major, Red Snapper, Black Damsel, Queen Trigga Fish, Red Grouper, Redhind Grouper, Rainbow Wrasse, Grey Trigger Fish, Ehrenbergs Snapper, Malabar Grouper, Lunar Fusiler, Two Tone Wrasse, Starry Dragonet, Convict Surgeonfish, Moonbeam Dwarf Angelfish,Bridled Monocle Bream, Redlined Triggerfish, Cero Mackeral, Rainbow Runner
Species Caught 2007
Arapaima, Alligator Gar, Mekong Catfish, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Pacu, Siamese Carp, Barracuda, Black Fin Tuna, Queen Trigger Fish, Red Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Honeycomb Grouper, Red Grouper, Schoolmaster, Cubera Snapper, Black Grouper, Albacore, Ballyhoo, Coney, Yellowfin Goatfish, Lattice Spinecheek

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The Heronry on the Medway near Snodland was full of birds starting nesting as early as early as the beginning of February, not seen many Kingfishers though.



After a certain age, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead.



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I've seen a few herons since the cold weather. Saw loads of kingfishers last year. I hope they haven't been knocked back, but if they have, they will recover.

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No drop in kingfishers on the Lugg, the usual herons in the fields around and my first sighting of cormorant on the Lugg this winter up this end. A decided increase in dippers, usual numbers of coots and moorhens in our otter infested area (just to blow some theories out of the water B) mind you these are "natural" fisheries and not stocked!) and an increase in goosanders on the Teme.


As Vagabond implied, nature is quick to restore a balance. Hard winters are good for many species of wildlife, especiallly amphibians, reptiles and other true hibernators. Mild winters mean that they wake up and move about before their prey is abundant which results in high death rates. A hard winter ensures that they 'sleep' through until conditions are optimal for emergence.


One interesting little sighting was a kingfisher flying around the allotments during a mild spell this winter. The river wasn't frozen but it was up and very coloured. My guess is that it was searching gardens etc. for ponds!

Eating wild caught fish is good for my health, reduces food miles and keeps me fit trying to catch them........it's my choice to do it, not yours to stop me!

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