Rare kingfisher sighting in Wapping causes a flap near Tower of London

Kevin the Kingfisher at Wapping [picture: Mark Baynes/Love Wapping website]

Kevin the Kingfisher at Wapping [picture: Mark Baynes/Love Wapping website] - Credit: Archant

This rarely-seen Kingfisher has caused a ‘Wapping’ flap in London’s East End where it has taken up residence in the Tobacco Dock canal.

Kevin's cosy nook at Tobacco Dock [picture: Mark Baynes]

Kevin's cosy nook at Tobacco Dock [picture: Mark Baynes] - Credit: Archant

Mark Baynes’ picture on the ‘Love Wapping’ website has excited residents who have nicknamed it Kevin the Kingfisher.

Kevin is seen regularly at the dock just half-a-mile from the Tower of London, after first being seen back in October and now gaining local ‘celebrity’ status.

The excitement heightened this week when a female was seen on Saturday.

The Love Wapping website reported: “At 11.07am on December 27, a female kingfisher was spotted in addition to Kevin.

“This is amazing news—it is not known if they are a breeding pair, but let’s get those fingers crossed.”


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Kingfishers have also been seen in other areas of east London such as Victoria Park, East India Dock Basin, the Limehouse Cut, Regent’s Canal and the River Lea.

They are small, unmistakably bright blue and orange, their habitats being close to slow moving or still water where they hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the surface.

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But they are vulnerable to hard winters and habitat degradation through pollution or unsympathetic management of watercourses.

Yet kingfishers are only ‘amber’-listed because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe.

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