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Spot the blue flash of a kingfisher from a riverside path

3. Spot the blue flash of a kingfisher from a riverside path

Let a walk along the riverbank reveal a colourful new world

To spot kingfishers, patience and planning are key. They are actually widespread and fairly common in Britain. But despite this, they can often be elusive birds.

If you want to see more than a flash then it's a good idea to wait or hide amongst bankside vegetation. At some nature reserves you can even see these lovely birds from the windows of the main visitor centre.


Bird song

Kingfishers also give themselves away with their ‘peep peep’ call. Listen out for this high-pitched piping – and quickly scan in all directions if you hear it. Birds often call in alarm or as they are flying past, low over the water. Watch the video below to learn more about the Kingfisher, and recognise its call.


Hunting underwater

Kingfishers love clear, still or slow-moving water with reeds or bulrushes in the shallows. They also love to perch in overhanging trees on the banks, where they preen their feathers or dive for fish. They are often spotted where drainage ditches, culverts or streams join a larger waterway. Find out more from the video below.


Safety First 

Canal and river safety (Canal River Trust)



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