IMG_2676Anglers will curse at cormorants, shout ‘Oi!’ at an obstinate otter and even hurl hatred at herons, but we are always kind to the kingfisher.

It might be their small size – we certainly don’t begrudge them the minnows – or their quite absurd beauty, but that piped whistle and electric flash is only ever a highlight on the riverbank.

The kingfisher also highlights the angler’s cause. When we sit, wade or skulk, trying our very best to meld into the environment, the appearance of this shy fleeting bird is a sure sign we are getting it right.

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