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  • Writer's picturePeter Howarth

The Waiting Game

I write this as I sit staring at a perch. Concealed by some reeds on a near bank I eagerly await the possible arrival of a Kingfisher.

D7500 Nikon 50mm 1.8 1/400 sec at f/14.0, ISO 500

The Kingfisher is the jewel of the British country side. A dazzling sapphire among a sea of green. Having previously seen this bird only a few times in my life. I have recently become enamoured with a pair that call a small stretch of the river Eden home.

My Eden; just a few miles from the University campus it is truly an escape from suburban life. Too far for all but the most determined dog walkers, too shallow for most fishermen, perfect for wildlife.

Today on my walk along the bank I collected a large fallen branch. My goal was to position this branch in such a way, that it would appeal to the resident Kingfishers. So much so one would choose to land on it, even if only for a moment.

And so here I sit waiting, watching, listening for the tell tale sounds that announce their presence. A flash of blue or a high chirp (not to dissimilar to a Spotted Woodpecker), either set my heart racing! Is this the moment I am waiting for?

In the distance a lone Gooseander combs the margins looking for food perhaps. Grey Wagtails flit over head arguing over something only they are privy to. A pair of Swans dift by on the currents; futilely trying to shepard their Signets back into slack water. Still the king of the river eludes me.

To be a masterful fisherman one must be wiley and cunning. Stalking your prey and only striking when the chances of success are stacked in your favour. To fail is a waste of energy few animals can endure. It would stand to reason that to outwit such a creature, at the very least a little patience is required. So I will continue to sit and wait, tucked away from the world in my little piece of Eden.

D7500 Sigma 150-600c 1/640 sec at f/8.0, ISO 1250

After four and a half hours of waiting my patience was finally reward. This beautiful Kingfisher pictured above decided to grace me with it's presence for the briefest of moments before moving on.

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