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Chiba Pref. park pond is 'secret' spot for glimpses, photos of elusive kingfishers

A hovering kingfisher is pictured in this photo taken on March 24, 2021. (Mainichi/Toshiaki Hashimoto)

KASHIWA, Chiba -- Shimmery cobalt blue feathered kingfishers have been spotted by a pond at Tega-no-oka Park here in the city's Katayama district, making the location popular among photo-snapping wild bird enthusiast.

    Kingfishers measure about 17 centimeters long. Their backs are a brilliant blue, while the front of their bodies are bright orange. Their beauty has made them a long-time favorite among bird lovers. They are sometimes seen by rivers near Teganuma marsh and elsewhere as well, but capturing their images on camera is relatively difficult.

    A kingfisher is pictured perched on a branch on March 24, 2021. (Mainichi/Toshiaki Hashimoto)

    There is approximately 26 hectares of natural woodland in the park, a treasure trove of wild birds that can be heard chirping in the otherwise silent woods. By the small pond at the back of the park, kingfishers can be seen flying back and forth. Human visitors can photograph the birds through small windows at an observation area as the kingfishers stop on a branch looking around for prey or hover over the water before diving in. "The joy of photographing a kingfisher is especially gratifying," a 73-year-old local wild bird aficionado said. "And the response you get on social media is greater, too."

    (Japanese original by Toshiaki Hashimoto, Kashiwa Local Bureau)

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