Saturday 9 February 2013

Kingfishers and Libraries

I just found out that today is National Libraries Day in the UK. Libraries are a great resource for enabling people, particularly those on a low income, to access books and other media. They're also environmentally friendly, many people borrow the one copy of a book, thus saving on paper, while at the same time authors are paid each time their book is borrowed, so there's not the loss of income that many authors see as a downside to other forms of book sharing.

So, why not pop into your local library today and choose a book to read..... There's also plenty going on today to celebrate libraries, you can find out more here.

This morning we visited the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. We were totally delighted to get a wonderful view of a kingfisher on the pond. It dived into the water and came out with a fish in its beak then flew into a bush where it stayed in full view for several minutes. Kingfishers are often seen on the pond here as it is so close to the Water of Leith, where the birds breed. They're visiting the pond more frequently at the moment, partly because when water levels are high in the river (as they are at the moment) kingfishers will often visit ponds (which is the same reason why a kingfisher is currently often seen at Musselburgh Boating Pond near the River Esk). in the case of the Water of Leith / Botanics kingfisher, it's likely that the ongoing flood prevention works along the river are disturbing the birds, encouraging them to visit the pond.

Also in the Botanics, we heard the wonderful sound of great spotted woodpeckers drumming. Spring is definitely on the way!

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks which take you to other webpages where you can find out more. 


Ms Sparrow said...

It's so nice to see nature gearing up for Spring when we're still suffering through winter! There is a camera set up above a bald eagle's aerie down along the Mississippi river. There are three new eggs in the nest surrounded by snow.
You can view it live at The female is currently on her nest and the winds from the snowstorm moving in is ruffling her feathers.

bunnits said...

I love watching kingfishers at the river.

eileeninmd said...

The kingfisher is a great sighting. They always seem so skittish and take off as soon as I see them. So happy that spring is on the way. Have a happy weekend!

Beth Kemp said...

Libraries are such an important tool for equality and social mobility - genuine opportunity for all.

Also, we've seen a kingfisher in our local country park a few times recently, after someone pointed out where it could be seen. Such a joy to see that blue flash on a freezing cold day!

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Juliet,

Libraries are such great things and often think how lucky we are to be able to loan books from them.
I got excited last week on my walk, seeing a kingfisher on the power lines and sadly did not have my camera with me.

Enjoy the weekend

Martin said...

National Libraries Day had slipped my mind, Juliet. You can tell I've been out of the 'loop' for almost seven years now.

Coincidentally, on Friday I heard the a woodpecker at work in the woods that adjoin our daughter's garden. Can't wait to welcome spring.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

"...After the kingfisher's wing/
Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still/ At the still point of the turning world."

HKatz said...

The libraries here in NYC are under strain. Fewer books, fewer resources, and we keep signing petitions for politicians not to take more money away from them. There's so much waste and corruption in government, but libraries get treated as the big drain on money...

Lucy said...

I didn't know that about the authors getting a fee each time, that's really good.

Kingfishers always seem to me they shouldn't quite belong in northern Europe, magical things.