Despite getting up early, the drive to Tring Reservoirs was delayed from the start – I managed to mislay a vital piece of camera gear, once found, I then faced more traffic than I had anticipated on the journey down the M1, I then took the wrong route off the motorway and when I arrived at Tringford, I felt I needed to catch up with the Water Bailiff and one of the anglers before setting off for the far end of Marsworth Reservoir. My arrival time was an hour or more later than my initial intention.
I got myself settled to wait to see which birds might visit me, the main vista was populated by noisy and irritable Coots and numerous Mallard drakes, and for a change the single most quiet of wood pigeons, though many of its relatives gave out their normal chant: “My Toe Hurts, Betty” over and over…
I spotted a juvenile male kingfisher off to my right, for which I had to remove the camera from the tripod and which necessitated my trying to find a viewpoint devoid of intervening twigs and branches. Which reminds me one particular kingfisher annoyingly hid behind a myriad twigs in plain sight for at least twenty minutes, and he returned there later to rub salt in the wound! Or give us photographers – the bird!
A Heron headed towards where I sat, saw me and negotiated the swiftest of flying turns and headed from whence it came, which made me chuckle. I thought that the abundance of ducks might mean that kingfishers might avoid my chosen spot, but for a change, though a pair of males made at least a couple of fly-bys without pausing, individually eventually my patience was rewarded, and not long after I was joined by a Nikon-toting photographer, who was to make me smile when he informed me he had a screw loose (fortunately, it was one on his tripod!) Well, not totally ‘fortunate’ as it did mean his tripod was less stable.
A while later and a further three other photographers arrived, one of whom it turned out, was a Brogborough windsurfer – what a small world I inhabit! By this time, my neck was stiffening, and the cold wind was taking its toll and I vacated my prime position and headed back up the bank and back to my car, but before finally leaving I took a last few shots of common Terns diving and swooping, but certainly could not match the shots I had been shown by Philip Luckhurst earlier. I did however take a shot of a humming bird, on the arm of a Scottish lass!
It was a surprisingly rewarding morning after all, but I got no shots of fish being harvested by the kingfishers. Another time maybe.