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To Quietly Go Where the Kingfishers Are…

It’s turned into a fine evening..

The sun has come out and the summer, which seemed to be doing it’s best to get to Autumn as soon as possible, suddenly feels like summer again!  I glance across at Mrs Waterland, and watch as she contentedly plonks herself in a deckchair…

I’m going to take the dinghy up river to Dilham’ I annouce

Ok‘ comes the reply, and after a short pause…  ‘I’ll stay here and catch up on my book

Fair enough‘ I respond, trying to hide a slight smirk, ‘I’ll leave their stick with you…

I am referring to our dog’s (Monty and Mabel) stick.  Monty particularly never gets bored of the stick throwing game, where I throw a stick and he brings it back, and not so patiently waits for me to throw it again and again.. and again…  Somehow I never think of the stick game when I’m imagining a nice relaxing time by the river, which instead always seem to turn into a marathon throwing session.

I hand the stick to Mrs Waterland…  ‘Here you are…

‘Oh Great…‘ she sighs

To quietly go…

This is the life‘ I mutter to myself as I turn the shaft of the tiller of our electric outboard to position 2.  Silently the dinghy begins to move forward through the lilly pads and soon I am out onto the River Ant.  Along the way, past the moored boats, I see the telltale blue flash of a Kingfisher.  My camera is not ready so I have no chance to photograph it.  Perhaps I’ll see another one…

Lots of boats are moored at Wayford Bridge.  I turn the tiller to position 5, which is full power for this little electric motor.  The boat surges forward while I sail under the bridge .  Once through, reduce the power back to 1, which gives a pleasantly sedate 1 mph.  Plenty to mooch about along the river and maybe even see some wildlife.

As I pass the fork in the river to the Dilham and North Walsham Canal, in the distance I see another Kingfisher drop down from a tree branch and fly low along the river.  I reach to the back of the boat and strap on my camera, determined not to miss any more!

Past the windmill I go, as the river turns right, and before long another Kingfisher flashes low along the river.  I watch as it lands on a branch and sits, seemingly unaware as I silently go on my way.  This time I am ready…

A Kingfisher on the River Ant near Dilham

Heading up river – the Kingfisher keeps me company on my journey up the Ant…

A flash of blue – the telltale sign of a Kingfisher

Wings displayed – a Kingfisher about to land…

A Kingfisher along the River Ant

And this Kingfisher becomes my companion for a while.  Flying up river and landing on this branch and that, before moving along, seeming little concerned by my presence, no doubt aware that it is far too quick and agile to be worried by me.

Over an hour I spend here.  Messing about on the river – an honoured spectator to the beauty of all that is around me – slowly purging my soul of the stresses of life.

Didn’t hear me coming – a Heron makes a quick exit after my unexpected arrival

Finally, I head back to our mooring.  On my return I pass a family of swans and the Kingfisher that eluded me before is still here, flying up and down along the moored boats.  This time I get my photo and somehow this seems to perfect end to this magical trip…

A Family of Swans at Wayford Bridge

This is how you do it – a Kingfisher, just feet from an unaware fisherman

Perching on the handrail

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