So after a few near misses with the fish pass I decided to take the following day off work as I was sure it was going to happen very soon. I was all set up by 7.30am and I didn't have long to wait before the male arrived on the perch fish in beak. There was no sign of the female so he departed after a few minutes and for the next hour or so I had to make do with a fishing cormorant, nesting long tailed tits and a bathing mallard to keep me amused.
Finally the female arrived on the perch and within seconds the male arrived with a fish only to see the female head upstream. Beginning to think I was in for another fruitless day I resigned myself to some pictures of a forlorn kingfisher with his unrequited fish. But then back she came and noisily announced she was receptive to his offer.
They moved closer and finally she took the fish!!
Sealed with a fish.
Our patience had finally been rewarded, he got his mate and I got my picture. But to me the best moment was just after the fish pass when he raised himself up and stretched to his full height, looking ever so proud of himself and full of the joys of life.
He left her to her fish which was by far the biggest he'd offered so far (who says size doesn't matter) and she eventually managed to get it down after a little bit of a struggle.
I'll be leaving them alone for a bit now so hopefully they can begin a family and toward the end of the month there may be some noisy and colourful new additions to the riverbank.