Of Fish and Feathered Fishers

It’s been a busy month, and we had three feathered visitors around our house who had never before shown themselves.

First, this pretty fellow, a brown-hooded kingfisher which, size wise (23 – 24 cm), is somewhere between a pigeon and a dove:


Later that week, I spied this really large chap from the bedroom window, a giant kingfisher (43-46cm) who has the most terrifyingly large bill:


The photograph is not fantastic, taken with my Samsung Galaxy A3, through the (very dirty) window.  Until this week, we have had an exceedingly dry winter, so I’m guessing that these feathered foreigners are venturing into new territory to find food.

Anyhow, enough of that for the moment.  As a consequence of the busy-ness, creativity and kitchen inspiration have been somewhat lacking and meals easy and very, very simple.  Simplicity in terms of ingredients and cooking.  This is one which has been a fall-back that I dreamed up and which requires little preparation and even less attention in the cooking:

Fish baked in cream

2 portions of white fish (I used hake)
2 carrots (if you have them), julienned
125ml cream
clove of garlic
bay leaf & a few peppercorns
fresh parsley – chopped
salt & pepper


Season the fish with salt and pepper.  Place the bay leaf and peeled clove of garlic at the bottom of a suitably sized, oven proof casserole dish, followed by the carrots and then the fish, skin-side up  and pour over the cream.  Finally, sprinkle some of the parsley over it all, reserving most of it. Cover with the lid (or foil) and bake at 16oºC for about 45 minutes/until done.  Once done, remove the lid and top with the remaining fresh parsley.


When I’ve not had carrots, I’ve replaced them with a layer of red onions and sprinkled chopped, green onion tops over the fish.  Serve with your choice of starch (The Husband’s is potato) and another vegetable, or salad if you wish.


Then, we had a third feathered visitor this month and one whom I’ve often heard hooting in the deep of the night, or in the quiet hour before sunrise.   Early one evening, The Husband summoned me from the kitchen to view “Pearli’s Ramparts”.  Looking at his size in relation to the gable, and the shape of the “ears”, s/he must have been a Cape Eagle Owl (48 – 55 cm).


Reference:  Newman, K, et al, 2000:  Newman’s Birds by Colour, Struik, Cape Town

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5 thoughts on “Of Fish and Feathered Fishers

    1. Me neither, until now. Now I want to see a fish eagle. We hear them a lot in summer – we have two dams less than 1km away from our house – but I’ve seen one.


      1. Ah, yes, patience and being there! Not, I hasten to say,that either or the dams are spot that have much shade in the heat of a summer’s day when they are round and about. That said, there is a wine farm on the other side of the village that has shade and the owners have photographed a nest of babies…

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