Bourne woman captures video of moment kingfisher flew into her kitchen
A woman had an incredible encounter with a kingfisher which flew into her kitchen and got trapped on the windowsill.
Charlotte Lawrie was "flabbergasted" when the eye-catching blue and orange bird flew through her kitchen doors yesterday (Friday, November 20) morning at about 9.30am.
Her home in Eastgate, Bourne, backs onto the Bourne Eau and Charlotte and partner Joe Ray can often catch glimpses of kingfishers and hear their distinctive calls.
Charlotte said: "We see them flitting up and down the river but it's never been more than a momentary glance."
Until now - Charlotte was in the kitchen when the bird flew in. Clocked by her rottweiler dog Triton, the kingfisher headed to the windowsill where it got trapped behind an array of Charlotte's houseplants.
Keen to do her bit to make sure the bird made it safely outside, Charlotte put Triton into the garden and set about moving the plants and trying to direct the kingfisher towards an open window.
But frustratingly, the tiny bird headed away from the open window and then as Charlotte tried to push him back with an unopened back of dishcloths, he froze.
Charlotte was left with no choice but to pick the fragile bird up and carry it outside.
"I think it was a possum thing trying to play dead," said Charlotte. "It must have been massively confusing for it to one minute be flying up and down a river and then stuck in glass cage with a load of cacti plants.
"I didn't want it to hurt himself. They are so fragile. When I picked it up, it was like picking up air."
Worried that it was hurt, she placed it into a flower bed where it stayed still. She then picked it up again to check it over before carrying it closer to the Bourne Eau. Once it recognised its surroundings, it took off from her hand.
"I was so worried it was injured and there's lots of cats around here, so I didn't want anything to happen to it. Once he realised the coast was clear and had a chance to look around, he just went for it. It was such a relief."
Despite being on a crutch after injuring her knee in a fall, Charlotte managed to capture the four-minute experience on video using her iPhone.
"It was a bit difficult to balance the phone, the crutch and the bird but I just felt like it was such a rare moment I had to capture it on camera."
The video managed to capture the bird's colours and the patterns on it back.
"It was such a vibrant colour, really absolutely amazing," said Charlotte. "I feel very lucky. I think I'm only just coming down from my kingfisher adrenaline rush."
Charlotte said her parents Karen and Ian, who live in Stamford, with her dad frequently walking his dog along the River Welland to try to spot the shy birds.
Her dad has since informed her the kingfisher Charlotte encountered was female because the underside of the beak is orange "like lipstick", while male kingfishers have wholly black beaks.
"I think my dad is a little bit jealous," laughed Charlotte. "He couldn't believe it when I told him. I can barely believe it happened."
Charlotte decided to share the video because she wanted to "cheer people up after such a glum year".
"The video has had a great reaction since I shared it and it's been shared on lots of social media channels," said Charlotte. "I might have sent it into [BBC wildlife programme] Springwatch."
Her only similar experience is when a sparrow flew into her bedroom as a child and Charlotte confessed she was "terrified".
"I felt this time I had to man up and help this guy - or girl as it turned out to be," laughed Charlotte.
According to the RSPB, kingfishers are small "unmistakable" bright blue and orange birds of slow moving or still water. They fly rapidly, low over water, and hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the water's surface. Kingfishers are amber listed - the second most critical group of birds - because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe. They are also listed as a Schedule 1 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act offering them additional protection.