Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Kingfishers in the Ravensbourne

Several months ago I stopped to chat to a fella who was hunkered down on a low seat overlooking the Ravensbourne right outside Elverson Road DLR station.

I spotted him first on my way into Lewisham - he was facing the bit of the river that's barely visible from anywhere else, where it runs in a wide concrete channel behind the rail station and into Brookmill Park. At first glance I thought he was fishing, and given the level of river water, that he was also hopelessly optimistic.

But on my way back I saw he was watching a camera on a tripod in the river bed, so I stopped to have a chat and he told me all about his kingfisher watch. He told me that he spent several hours a day trying to get good photos of them, that they covered large distances along the river looking for food, he showed me their favourite perches and told me other places that were good for spotting them.

I was surprised and delighted to hear that there were kingfishers on this stretch of the river - I've only ever seen them down at the end of the Creek although given their range it was probably the same ones! - and impressed by his dedication to something he had such a passion for.

Tomos and his kingfisher photos were featured on the One Show yesterday and you can watch the clip here.

Some reporters get all the best jobs - crouching in a concrete culvert for three hours wearing a bin bag. Luckily they did get a sighting!


Anonymous said...

Seen them in the Ladywell Fields area for years - (and Cornmill gardens from time to time) don't know how many there are or how far their patch extends though!

Always a joy to see them

Joe Beale said...

I have seen this guy's photos - his patience really pays off. How lucky we are to have Kingfishers here - it goes to show urban planning can be done thoughtfully enough to include wildlife - which also helps brighten people's day. In this case, one side of the river is standard urban park with benches, the other is wilder and inaccessible to the public, with willows overhanging the water, and so you can sit and watch the Kingfishers without disturbing them, yet you are close enough to see them well.

Lewisham Gardens said...

Loved the video.

Tomos must have limitless patience and be hooked into some really zen energy!

Hours and hours sitting out waiting to catch the perfect photo!

Here he in playing the dulcimer.

I watched his kingfisher video, then saw his music video. I sat and asked myself what exactly Im doing with my time!

Deptford Dame said...

Wow, thanks for that link! I see what you mean about the zen energy!

Chris said...

Absolutely beautiful.
Thanks very much for sharing it.

Liz said...

Thanks for sharing this- I went with my granddaughter to Brookmill Park today inspired by your posts and hoping to see a kingfiaher. I was not disappointed. We saw one perched on a branch for about 5 mins. Beautiful!
Thanks for the info- we'll be back again with our binoculars and camera next time!

Deptford Dame said...

Thanks for letting me know Liz! Good luck with the return visit!

Simon said...

Saw one this morning in this exact location. Then found your post and the BBC link. Thank you