There had been some concerns that these beautiful birds could have been badly hit by last year's harsh winter, so it was heartening to know that a wildlife survey by British Waterways showed they have been seen in record numbers this year.
According to the survey, the number of mink has simultaneously declined - which could have something to do with the boost in the kingfisher population. British Waterways has claimed the credit for the boost, pointing to its improvements in water quality and habitat management. I hope it continues. Getting the right colours to paint these birds is always a challenge but these two paintings are among my most popular.