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A Kingfisher!

Today we bunked off and went to Wacker Quay, to paddle up the river Lynher.  We tried to paddle the Lynher from Saltash before, but the wind and the current down at the mouth of the river defeated us.  So we thought we would try launching higher up.  It was pretty tranquil up there.

We saw a kingfisher!  I still don't quite have the nerve to go messing with long lenses and manual settings in the canoe, but the autofocus did not do an utterly terrible job, since he helpfully sat still.  

The automatic settings are not much good at birds in motion though.  We saw many egrets, with their long legs and white plumes and several grey herons, and of course lots of gulls and ducks, but none of my snaps of them came out at all.   We also spotted a small bird that was diving and swimming like a grebe, and tentatively guess it to be a grebe.  There turns out to be an actual species called the Little Grebe, so we decided it was probably one of those.

We canoed to St Germans!  You have to be careful canoeing around St Germans, even at high tide, because the mud is really not very far below the surface.

These boats were moored in the channel.  They must have to be SO CAREFUL when they go out for a sail to stick to the main channel.  There were places where we couldn't even get the whole paddle into the water, and some of them were right in the middle!

Possibly that boat on the right just gnaws its way through the mud.  Improbably, its name was 'Mandy'.

Back at Wacker Quay and the sun was going down...

The old concrete dock in the foreground was used for loading tanks onto boats in advance of D-Day.  Hard to imagine now.  We were the only people there, although it was a little less peaceful than it looks, because you could hear the traffic on the road to Torpoint droning away.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
25th Oct, 2016 22:59 (UTC)
You outdid youself this time.
These are jaw-droppingly gorgeous--the light and the color you've captured is wonderful!
26th Oct, 2016 10:30 (UTC)
Re: You outdid youself this time.
It was so beautiful. And almost nobody there to see it: only us and a few people working on their boats in St Germans.
26th Oct, 2016 05:20 (UTC)
That is amazingly beautiful - thank you for posting the pics.
26th Oct, 2016 10:31 (UTC)
I'm glad you liked them
26th Oct, 2016 10:13 (UTC)
Kingfisher! What an amazing shot... I've never even had such a good view of a kingfisher, let alone managed to photograph one. Obviously I need to take to the river!

...the mud is really not very far below the surface...

Would there originally have been a ford at St Germans?
26th Oct, 2016 10:41 (UTC)
I can highly recommend it! I was very pleased with that pic. I have cropped it, but it was only taken with a 50mm lens, so you can see how close it let us get. I do see them quite often, but not usually close enough to photograph.

No, I don't think there was ever a ford at St Germans - rather the reverse. The grand house there, which was once a monastery and claims to have been inhabited since the sixth century, is called Port Eliot. The quays are very old. I think the river has probably silted up: it's not dredged any more that high up (hence all the egrets and herons!)
26th Oct, 2016 12:15 (UTC)
Wow, the last two photos.
Also made me want to swim there.
26th Oct, 2016 20:01 (UTC)
You'd be better swimming a bit downriver nearer the sea: there's an awful lot of mud up at this end!
26th Oct, 2016 12:22 (UTC)
Very impressed with the kingfisher. I've never seen one sit long enough to be photoed. I have a couple of riverbank pics of 'where the kingfisher was'.
26th Oct, 2016 20:07 (UTC)
Hah, yes, I have taken a few of those, and also quite a few of riverbank with a whirl of indecipherable blue!
26th Oct, 2016 19:46 (UTC)
How delightful to spot a kingfisher! I have no wildlife-spotting skills whatsoever, and was over the moon last week when I saw my first skunk outside of a zoo. It was most nonchalant and velvety.
26th Oct, 2016 21:33 (UTC)
I once saw a kingfisher at the castle mill in Oxford, a glorious neon zooming thing that stopped for a couple of moments on one of the bushes. That's a great shot of it and the other photos look they could go in a calendar.

I was wondering if the river has silted up since if St Germans is now so bad.
26th Oct, 2016 21:39 (UTC)
28th Oct, 2016 07:24 (UTC)
I've always been rather surprised by how vivid kingfishers are, especially the ones in temperate climates - so much brighter than many of the other birds around!
4th Nov, 2016 15:44 (UTC)
Thank you for the lovely canoe trip, quite enjoyable.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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