The Kingfisher of Little Bowden : the Search Continues (with Donovan and Shawn Phillips)

Yesterday morning I spotted the Kingfisher of Little Bowden for the second time, but once again it eluded my camera.  I feel this could turn into one of the great Man Hunts Beast stories, such as that of Captain Ahab and Moby Dick, or Val Doonican and the Bright Elusive Butterfly of Love. 

My best strategy would be to get up before dawn, dress in camouflage gear, black my face up and secrete myself in the bushes that line the banks of the Jordan, then, at the first sight of a flash of blue – snap!  But I can see this approach might land me in hot water.  Leaflets would  appear – “A man has been seen behaving suspiciously near to a local school” – then the arrest “But, officer – I was just observing a kingfisher” “That’s what they all say, Sir.” – then the front page of the Harborough Mail – “Kingfisher Man remanded for trial” – then Disgrace! Never received in polite society again!

Perhaps a more sensible option would be to disguise myself as a sheep and approach from the other side of the river.

But here’s someone who appears to have more luck with his Kingfishers – he claims to have seen three of them.  It’s Donovan, from 1966.  Donovan seems to have the ability to resemble or influence much better respected artists (this is very like the Incredible String Band, for instance, and the likes of Hampstead Incident are a clear influence on Nick Drake) without ever quite shaking off the impression that he was a bit of a prune.  Very unfair, no doubt.

In this clip it’s good to see that he’s made an effort for the telly and put a tie on (and how polite they all are!).  The avuncular chap in the jumper is Pete Seeger.

(While searching for this, I discovered that there is someone in the world with the name Donovan Kingfisher.  Rather wonderful.)


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