Monday, 1 September 2014

A late summer afternoon on the Kings Weston Rhines

A sunny afternoon led me out to walk across the reclaimed marshland behind our home in  north west Bristol.  Here, the floodplain of the River Severn supports a network of drainage ditches known as 'rhines'. A surprising number of rare and scarce species can be found here, including otter and water vole. The bank on the nearest rhine has been cleared recently, and I found roe deer tracks in the mud. This is a good spot to find a drink!

The rhines are also full of small fish! Last week a shrill cry and flash of iridescent blue thrilled me,  as not one, but two kingfishers graced the rhine, flying along the watercourse.  A heron stood sentinel on the bank and two mallard swam past it. It reminded me of  an image in a Ladybird nature book - all the right elements in one place. It was all too swift for my camera, so I  tried a quick sketch in my nature journal to remember the moment.  I was also really delighted to see them, because as well as being beautiful, the kingfisher is a good indicator of freshwater health.

 I've seen the kingfishers twice now. I hope they decide it's a good place to fish and stay longer.


Elizabeth Braun said...

Hiya Jules!

Wishing all the very best and lots of success with your new blog. I've added you to my Feedly reader list, but I was a bit unsure as to how to categorise 'Needle and Pen', so I've put it in 'Art'. Whatever you post about, it's going to fit in there somewhere.=)

Rachel said...

I can just imagine the scene - and the picture in the Ladybird book!
Love your kingfisher, and looking forward to seeing more..

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

So glad to have found your new blog Jules! Love your sketches in your journal and can't wait to follow you as you pursue your new passions.

margaret said...

yes just like the ladybird books. Lovely kingfisher you have drawn there, I have only once seen one and that was in Dublin

Valerie Gardiner said...

I remember those ladybird books too and your kingfisher is beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your sketches as I follow your new blog.

Shashi Nayagam said...

The sketches are beautiful