I felt the urge to visit the Tring Reservoirs and with the mornings getting lighter, decided that it would have to be an early start despite the forecast of mist.
As I arrived in my favourite spot, I had to tread carefully as another photographer was already there and the last thing I wanted was to destroy his concentration or disturb the subjects he was photographing, and the bank is steep at that point with little support to be found at the steepest point. I had already extended one leg of the tripod to help me fortunately and I set down by his side with the minimum of fuss as I asked had he had much luck; he replied reluctantly, not a lot.
As I put down the legs and levelled the camera, I introduced myself and learned he was Mike Casey and though the name was new to me, it became clear he was obviously knowledgable and way more experienced than me and we had a mutual friend in Merv, whom I had met in this spot on several occasions over the last two years. We spoke in hushed tones and he spotted kingfishers long before I caught sight of them, and I learned his aim on this occasion was to catch shots of the mink, but though the previous morning he had been lucky, today it was not to be.
We were constantly visited by blue tits, but they invariably were screened by numerous branches and they were far to flitty, but I spotted a single woodpecker and Mike pointed out the Wren feeding in front of use, whilst on the far bank I caught sight of a muntjac briefly, we had several kingfisher flybys and Mike was lucky enough to catch a male with a fish, but I was unlucky on that score, and did manage a couple of shots of the squirrel.
We both stayed till the cold took its toll and departed together, chatting as we walked along the canalside and Mike pointed out where he had taken shots of the mink complete with fish as he came straight towards him along the grass bank then went across the path and back into the reservoir. He also showed me other spots he had seen kingfishers perching and fishing in the past. We parted by our cars after a quick walk along the far side of Tringford lake, and I set off to my daughter’s home.