It was a cold misty start to the day, but the mist was due to burn off, and I had decided it might be worth my visiting Wilstone Reservoir as it was less muddy underfoot for a change.
I cleared the build-up of emails and took a leisurely breakfast after gathering the camera and lenses I needed, choosing the 24-105mm on the 5D MkII and the 150-600mm on the 7D MkII and the lightest (Carbon Fibre) tripod with a Manfrotto levelling head beneath the Lensmaster Gimbal Head (minus the spring washer on the side adjustment, as I had found that this did not add to general operational smoothness).
Going to Tring Reservoirs from Marston Moretaine did however require me to use the iPhone SatNav to give me the directions cross country as I did actually wish to get there as soon as possible, and I have yet to work out the best route for myself. Fortunately there also proved to be little traffic.
To get to the Hide from where I park gives me a long trek, and seeing little activity on the water meant that I did not even remove the lenshood until the last straight before the bridge and wood; this is one way I get plenty of exercise, and this is one walk I definitely do not make with my heavy Gitzo tripod!
Arriving at the hide I hear voices, something I generally do not expect from a hide; but in this instance it was I suspect one of the rangers with an trainee, as he was taking a count of bird species from this quadrant of the lake, and naming some of the birds that he was seeing; this is always handy for me! In this instance he mentioned Widgeon and that was a bird I would not have recognised for myself, so that was handy, as I might have mistaken it for a Teal.
Although I spent some time in the hide, it was not an overwhelmingly productive period, really only capturing shots of the Teal and Widgeon. As I left the hide, I spotted a few smaller birds in the swampy area alongside the path, and set up the tripod there, but that was enough to ensure that I simply wasted the next quarter of an hour hoping they might return.
On the outward journey I had spotted some nervy wagtails, and on the final stretch of my return I did manage to get a just a couple of shots of a Grey Wagtail, but it was the Greylag Geese that I was hoping to capture in flight, and they at least announce their forthcoming takeoff plans giving me the opportunity of takeoffs from the field and the water to complete my trip.