Have you ever spotted a Kingfisher? They are one of those birds that can go un-noticed yet are more common than you would think especially around Fethiye.
There are actually around 60 varieties of Kingfisher throughout the world split into three groups, the River Kingfisher, Tree Kingfisher and the Water Kingfisher.
In and around Fethiye the main species is the Common Kingfisher or European Kingfisher which comes under the River Kingfisher group.
Although it is classed as a River Kingfisher they can often be seen in and around the seashore and harbours of Fethiye.
A few of their favourite habitats around Fethiye and Calis are as follows:
– Around the boatyard in Fethiye, flying from rope to rope across the water, whilst picking off small fish from the surface.
– By the Fethi Bey statue. This is the same place where you can spot Carrettas in the early morning. The birds will perch on the small fishing boats and ropes. You can also see them around the jetty where the Rhodes ferries dock.
– At the end of the new promenade by the Karoyollari. There are several small rivers that flow into the sea here and the have overhanging branches and slow flowing water are a favourite habitat for the Kingfisher.
From the area towards the new hospital along the sea shore you will see them flying very quickly just skimming the surface of the water and stopping on overhanging branches. Once you locate these ”favourite” overhanging branches you will get a chance to observe their beauty in more detail.
– Two other very popular areas are along the river are where the Calis water taxis enter from the river into the bay and the adjacent low lying water area behind the Sat restaurant. This is an especially good nesting area where they live in small tunnels just above the waterline raising upwards and from 3ft to 6 ft long; the tunnels can sometimes be discarded water vole tunnels.
You will usually hear a Kingfisher before seeing one, they let out a sharp and clear shrill, ‘tsee-tsee’, which is often repeated rapidly.
Once you have spotted one you will see their vivid colours with their iridescent plumage of turquoise and cobalt blue on their back and wings, and a bright orange underpart with a white Bib. Their bill is long and pointed. They are not much bigger than a house sparrow. Once they have caught their prey they can be seen smashing the captured fish on a rock or its perch, then to be swallowed head first.