The forecast tempted me by suggesting there was a good chance of sunshine, so I togged up with layers of clothing to ensure that I could withstand an early start and be down long enough to get a chance of getting a shot of a kingfisher at Marsworth, despite the lack of leaf cover. Not only did I take the long lens (150-600mm), but I also took along the recent acquisition the 24-70mm with macro feature, and since the first two and a half hours a kingfisher only gave me high speed flypasts, some of which he ended by diving behind the few bushes that have leaf cover, then often as long as ten minutes would pass before he emerged and continued in the direction he was initially headed!
As forecast the sun arose and for a period it kept the light levels reasonable, then clouds would intermittently pass in front so I was kept busy pushing up the ISO speed, then trying to remember to bring it back down as they cleared. When the kingfisher arrived he stationed himself on a branch that was just out of sight from the camera on the tripod, so I had to hastily up the shutter speed and release the camera, and shoot handheld, and my hands are never steady in that situation, with the added problem I was shooting almost directly into the sun, so he was largely in silhouette, but he stuck around and was successful, and dived a further two times after devouring the somewhat slimy fish – I am not sure whether it was its innards or something from the water, but the bird was still trying to clear the slime after down the fish itself!
I kept myself energised as best as possible by photographing some of the other birds that came into view, (Mallard Duck and Drake, Robin, Wren, Moorhen and Coot, either with the long lens or the short, on the 5D MkIII. When I finally set off I met up with another photographer clad in all the proper camouflage gear and we had a short chat before I headed back to the car. I took the opportunity to drop by the Stockwood Discovery Centre Gardens on the return trip, calling in at Caddington to see progress on my old home, buy a roll for my lunch and some veg for a casserole later in the week.