I am lucky to walk along the banks of the River Shuttle four times a day to school and back and have been spotting some lovely creatures. A little egret has flapped up a few times, I've come up close to a heron's gimlet eye and best of all today were a pair of kingfishers. They were still together, perching on the soily riverbank and as I approached they whirred off under the bridge flashing their brilliant bodies. I could clearly see their orange bibs and long bills. Beauties! I wondered about the brilliance of their plumage, its generosity of colour (to us, at least) - it must be something to do with minimising their appearance to fish using the refraction of light through water. The River Shuttle is a tributary of the River Cray and runs through much of suburban SE London and Kent. Good to think it is full enough of fish to sustain breeding pairs. I also have a soft spot for Lewisham's River Quaggy, watery grave of many a shopping trolley, but persistently clear and flowing...


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