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Halcyon days

October 23, 2010

In late October in Brampton we are nearing the Halcyon days. To the ancient Greeks these days were a week of calm around the shortest day. In Brampton I refer to the time of halcyon bird, the Kingfisher. Kingfishers are fairly common along the Bure, but at some times of the year they are more common than others. This is certainly the case at this time of the autumn.
Kingfishers breed along the Bure. But sightings tend to increase when the young have started to spread out and numbers have certainly arrived over the last few days. To spot a Kingfisher you need to have your hearing attuned to the high pitched, almost whistling call. This is the first alert in just about every occasion. Usually the Kingfisher has spotted you early and the call is a note to a mate to say that it is moving on. The flight is fast and whirring often you will see the bird’s blue back or orange breast – if you are lucky and the light is just right, the blue shines as an unforgettable iridescent flash. The Kingfisher is quite prepared to give the observer a wide birth and I have seen them taking shortcuts way from water many times.

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