I did hear several splashes and plops of fish jumping in a pool beyond the fallen tree branches, but again the name of the species was not part of my vocabulary, and the angle and distance precluded my getting shots that might help me find the answer from an angler – I was amazed by the size of some of their number and just how many were swimming in that small area. A heron passed overhead at one time, but with the camera on the monopod, there was no chance of my getting in a shot.
It was while waiting for the main attraction that a disembodied voice called out: "Do you hear the call of the wood pigeons?" At first I assumed it was someone calling to a nearby friend, but when the question was repeated I realised it was aimed at me, I replied "Yes" and a man on the far bank in a red or orange shirt glimpsed through the branches and yellow flags by the bank said: "It sounds like 'My toe hurts, Betty!' I chuckled and said yes it does, and asked whether he had ever caught sight of a cuckoo? But my question remains unanswered as by then he had disappeared.
With those words repeating in my head I continued my wait for the equally elusive kingfisher. Before I continued in earnest I decided I would take a swig from my flask of coffee and had no sooner packed it back away having quenched my thirst, that coming close to two hours my patience was rewarded; a kingfisher alighted on a branch to my left and I took a few shots, it was less than a minute later that it dived and successfully caught a tiny morsel, moving centre stage to swallow it with much head shaking. Before departing he moved to another branch and dived again, but I was disappointed in the small size of its catch and how shapeless it was in its beak. He must have thought the same as he departed soon after.
I did stay on, but apart from another pair of Mallard, a lone coot, numerous pigeons, a few crows and spells of melodious but unknown birdsong, I saw no more kingfishers and four hours astride an uncomfortable log proved as much as I could endure, so I returned to the towpath of the Grand Union Canal and wandered to Tringford reservoir and its anglers, hoping to meet up with its Water Bailliff, but he was not there; I will catch up with him later.