Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary: 16 Oct 1919

Viola’s next entry was written on a Thursday lunchtime, presumably during school holidays. She is leaning over the bank of ‘Kingfisher Pool’ watching the fish when a kingfisher pays a visit.

Kingfishers are more common in England, however, they can be found as far north as Stirlingshire. These small birds are often not hardy enough to survive harsher winters. However, the RSPB reports that ‘they are currently increasing in their range in Scotland’. British Waterways have suggested that improvements in the kingfisher’s habitat may be playing a part in this.

‘…the water needs to be clean enough for the bird to see its tiny prey as it skims across the surface…’

Transcript

Oct 16 1919

Down by Kingfisher Pool 12 pm

I was leaning over the bank looking at the fish

when a small bird flew up and alighted on a root

under the bank. Then he flew up onto the grass be-

hind me and finally settled on a twig about 3

feet from my nose. To my surprise I found him

to be a kingfisher. He was a lovely emerald green

shot with blue. There was red on his breast

and ears, and white on his neck. He had

a loud sharp piercing cry pee pee or one might say

“Fish fish”. His beak was long and of a dirty grey yellow.

He was about 6 or 8 ins long with a beak about 3”. He stayed

on the twig for about 30 seconds.

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