Needle felted Kingfisher on Vintage Linen Spool


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I am always watching and hoping our wild inhabitants will give up their hiding places during my daily walks by the River Roe. I am told kingfishers can be found here but neither they nor the resident otters have seen fit to show themselves! I remain am ever hopeful although, as their UK conservation status is listed as amber I guess it is no surprise that I am yet to see one.

This life size, jewel bright bird has been created from carded Jacob wool, the surface decorated with hand blended merino and silk rovings. The form has been further enhanced with embroidery in an attempt to capture the vivid feathers. The beak is hand carved wood, dyed and varnished and the eyes are semi precious onyx beads.

My Kingfisher comes perched on a vintage reel of ‘Wolf Brand’ linen thread from the Wolfhill Linen Company Ltd, Belfast providing a link to the history of the Roe Valley Country Park which was a centre for the production of flax and linen until 1933.

The Kingfisher by William Henry Davies

It was the Rainbow gave thee birth,
And left thee all her lovely hues;
And, as her mother’s name was Tears,
So runs it in my blood to choose
For haunts the lonely pools, and keep
In company with trees that weep.
Go you and, with such glorious hues,
Live with proud peacocks in green parks;
On lawns as smooth as shining glass,
Let every feather show its marks;
Get thee on boughs and clap thy wings
Before the windows of proud kings.
Nay, lovely Bird, thou art not vain;
Thou hast no proud, ambitious mind;
I also love a quiet place
That’s green, away from all mankind;
A lonely pool, and let a tree
Sigh with her bosom over me.


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