Arriving at Marsworth Reservoir, I was somewhat surprised by the lack of birdlife activity, and the half-hearted pair of Grebe by the reeds, who eventually went their separate ways the one heading towards the centre of the lake, the other into the strips of water cut from the reed beds apparently to encourage the bitterns. The largest group of ducks were the Tufted Ducks after the ever-present Coots. A few gulls were skimming low across water occasionally dipping for small fish, and on occasion successfully. I stayed awhile at the pathside keeping watch on the Grebe in case its mate changed its mind and returned to the reeds.
It didn’t happened so I moved along past the hide and turned right alongside the Grand Union Canal; where only a single narrowboat was moored with its engine gently chugging, perhaps to keep its electricity running. Upon my arrival there were no anglers encamped at the lakeside, so I presume the calm waters were considered to favour the fish rather than the anglers. Although buds were beginning to show, the frequent chilly nights of late kept them firmly closed for the present so there was little leafy cover at the water’s edge which meant I was almost certainly going to be avoided by kingfishers on this morning, and that proved to be the case.
There was a very busy little wren gathering leaves for a nest which it was cunningly building beneath a broken and split branch overhanging the water in the middle of the narrowing neck at the far end of Marsworth’s lake, and it managed to defeat my attempts at capturing it either entering or leaving its concealed nest. In this same area, a Grebe visited me several times spending its entire time diving for lengthy periods and returning to the surface only to catch its breath before dipping once more beneath the surface. A Grey Wagtail spent a short time close by and every so often a pair of Bluetits darted from bank to bank in the characteristic swooping flight, but rarely did they stay long in one spot or close enough together for me to capture both in the same frame as no sooner had I got both in the same shot, one or both would be on the move again! Over some three hours I never spotted a kingfisher, yet as I left and had walked no more than fifty feet along the path back along the path I spotted one heading to the spot I had just vacated – I cursed the cheeky so-and-s0 for outwitting and teasing me once again.
I met up with Tringford’s Water Bailliff as I headed back to my car and we chatted awhile as I went to see whether there was any more activity on the Tringford Lake, but it was even barer than the one I had just left. Instead of going back to Marston Moretaine I headed for Westcott to meet up with my daughter and her children to spend a short time with them.