Having parked the car, I put the lens and camera on the tripod, and took the almost empty camera bag along with the three-legged seat, a groundsheet and spare battery, and set off in the moonlight, but I was soon in the tunnel of trees and little more than the occasional glimpse of the moon filtered through the branches until I emerged by the reeds of Marsworth. A mild glow was appearing on the eastern horizon, as the full moon was setting slowly in the west, the puddles on the gravel path reflect the sky glow weakly, as I trudge towards the lock and the final tricky descent to the waterline.
In the dark and with the tripod, gimbal head and long lens over one shoulder and the camera bag from my neck on the other side, it was difficult to make my way down the slippery path and by the hawthorn and other bushes, none of which can hold my weight, so balance is important. I made it down with a few pauses to test the ground beneath my feet, and into the brighter gloom at the fallen tree and the water’s edge. I now had to set myself up on the slippery and rotten bark and the most tricky part was finding secure purchases for the tripod legs, but eventually I succeeded, seating myself carefully entwined by the tripod legs on the groundsheet. Despite the cold, my exertions had warmed me considerably!
In totally unavailable light I caught my first glimpse of a kingfisher after an hour’s wait, I could barely see the branch upon which he had alighted, and he flew off only a couple of seconds later, but that at least gave me the hint he might land just there later, and it was closer than I had hoped, so not taking a shot was less of a disappointment. It was to be another forty minutes before he returned, and by that time the sun was up, and lighting the reeds, and the upper branches of the trees on the far bank.
I was to be graced just once more with the presence of a kingfisher, and then a long and fruitless wait as all the previous warmth left me, and my legs and bottom became stiff and seemed to weigh far more. Eventually I succumbed, packed up my gear and left; the small gallery has near duplicates, but gave me a neat grid, I was disappointed by far too many that lacked good focus, which was not good news as I had manually focussed all the time.