All in good time …

I’ve been puzzled as to the late arrival this spring of Sacred Kingfishers.

Most years a few birds arrive in the first half of September with the main influx well and truly here by early October. In the past I’ve even recorded the odd individual in August. Despite some serious searching of their regular haunts in recent weeks I hadn’t spotted a single bird … or heard one for that matter. Their distinctive calls are easy to recognise and carry quite a distance – they are hard to miss once they arrive. Finally, last weekend, I came across a pair on the margins of the Sandon State Forest, alerted initially by the calls of the pair as they were investigating potential nesting sites in a massive Yellow Gum. It’s great to have a them back.

The Sacred Kingfisher is a breeding migrant to central Victoria – it spends the cooler months in northern Australia but graces us with its presence from now until at least March.

I’d be interested in whether readers have also noted its late arrival this year … it could just be that I’ve been ‘asleep at the wheel’.


Sacred Kingfisher, Sandon State Forest, 17th October 2021


The pair – suspect that is the female at left


Making that familiar ‘kek-kek-kek’ call


Great to see you back!

12 responses to “All in good time …

  1. We’ve had our first Sacred kingfisher turn up on the Moonee Ponds Creek at the Jacana Wetlands. I’d have have considered this to be an early arrival up our way in the northern suburbs.

  2. Hi Geoff, also noticed later arrival of Sacred Kingfisher, that said last year was the 1st time we had seen them. Still not here. @ Ravenswood.

  3. Hi Geoff,
    Just to let you know that our breeding pair of Sacreds arrived at our property on the NSW Far South Coast on 29th September. For the past several years they have returned within a couple of days of this date and go straight to the same nesting hollow in a large, old Angophora floribunda tree.

  4. Beautiful photos! Thanks so much for these posts. I love receiving each one. Cheers, Audrey

    Sent from Mail for Windows

  5. Sacred KFs calling in Rise & Shine 3 weeks ago. Calling this morning near picnic shelter.

    • Thanks Dave – your record shows that at least some arrived in late September – still somewhat later than usual.

  6. Hi Geoff,
    Yes, we’ve noted the same lateness. Or is it they have found other places to go?

    Normally we’d have about 5-6 pairs set up along the Werribee River, but like you, we have several sites that have yet to see a wingflap. (and its not for the want of trying, we have our best operative at work on the project. If she can’t locate them, they are not there)

    Managed this morning to come across a pair working on the outer limits of what we would have described as “territory”. Not sure if they have established a nesting location, but one was aggressively chased by a Red-rumped Parrot clan, so I think that hole won’t be on the ‘must have’ list.

    Interesting season indeed.

  7. Hii Geoff, we were just discussing today why we haven’t yet seen a Sacred Kingfisher in Geelong so far this year. They were not around earlier in the year either at Lake Wendouree in Ballarat where we usually see them or at Lake Colac. I hope we see one soon!

  8. Hi Geoff
    I saw one last week at a friends place in Maldon. First time ever hear.

  9. Hi,
    Finally heard ours calling 3 days ago, then happily sighted 2 days ago in our forest, seemed to be checking small hollows in trees along creek.
    We are on the edge of Rocklyn with the Rocky Lead Creek bordering the back of our property.
    Always enjoy your posts and pics-such a wealth of knowledge.
    Kind regards, Di

  10. I’ve been waiting in Strathfieldsaye for the return, and was hoping to ‘tick’ it for the Birds in Backyards week – still not here.

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