One of the most well-known and easily-recognisable birds in the UK, the Kingfisher is an occasional sight along rivers, either perched and watching for tiny fish or flying along the middle of the water calling. They can also be found on lakes, ponds and at the coast. Their range extands from the UK through to Papua New Guinea in a belt including North Africa and Indonesia in the southern range through to China and Russia in the north, although birds in the northern and southernmost limits tend to be migratory. They are small birds, roughly the same size as a House Sparrow at 16 cm in length, but with a short tail. Kingfishers catch their prey by diving into water and catching fish, which they kill by clubbing against a rock or branch and turn head-first to swallow so that the scales do not become lodged on the way down. The call is usually a high-pitch 'peep peep', usually given in flight. Males have an all-black bill while females (as pictured here) have an orange lower mandible.
1: Riverside Park, Southampton, 07/12/2013.