Kingfishers are neat birds. They especially fascinate me because varieties of so many different sizes and colours can be seen on different continents. We used to have a kingfisher on the $5 note in Canada, an image I’ve seen in real life many times – kingfishers like to perch on the float ramp railing overlooking the water at Bowen Island, waiting patiently until an opportunity arises to dive in headfirst and emerge with a fishy catch. In Australia they’re called kookaburras.

I’ve seen kingfishers in Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, but the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen swooped low alongside as I rode my scooter between Mahingiyana and Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. It was a large bird, and as it flew up and away from me I was taken aback by its stunningly vivid blue wings, with stripes of bright white, burning a motion-blurred image into my mind.

Kingfisher flying away