This week one of the participants came to the Wednesday group in Dagenham and said they had seen a kingfisher sitting on a sign in a pond reserved for wildlife. So after we had done our relaxation exercises in the wood I suggested we went and had a look. I had a hunch that the kingfisher was feeding young and would be very busy; maybe it would ignore us. We all walked round to the pond and looking through the willow trees we could see the birds sitting out in the open on a sign. The kingfisher was perched on a No Fishing sign!

After watching for a bit we decided to be more brazen and slowly walked to a bench by the pond and sat down. The kingfisher stayed. Between us we had three pairs of binoculars so everyone had a good look at the bird. We got to see its orange breast and red legs, its enormous bill and bright eyes. And the magical electric blue band down its back. We saw it catch fish and fly off only to return a few minutes later. 

We then went on a leisurely walk further round the park. We heard reed warblers singing in the bullrushes, whitethroat warblers on the gorse and a song thrush in the wood. But we returned again for a last look at the pond before going home.

Everyone was so excited to see the kingfisher again. One person had never seen one before and others had only had fleeting glimpses as one flashed by. Comparisons were made with seeing the baby fox one time and of course we saw baby green woodpeckers last week. All within sight of the Ford wind turbines off the A13. I’m amazed at nature’s resilience, prospering in East London. Because the environment is right. And I like to think the people on the walk were improving their resilience by being in the right environment on a warm day in June.