Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

Dancing on ice

Well the thaw may be occurring, but the marshes and reservoirs at Tophill Low still remain frozen. I have just spent an enjoyable weekend photographing the wildlife in and around North Marsh. Saturday was a beautiful day; cold and very still. On arriving at the hide just after dawn, I was immediately rewarded by the presence of a fox as it strolled across the frozen lake Pheasants and Roe Deer were present too and the local raptors were also out in numbers. Martin Hodges turned up just after lunch and helped me identify several species including a Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and a Common Buzzard.

The light was perfect and the fauna, very co-operative. I even got a glimpse of a Kingfisher as it hurtled by on its journey to find some unfrozen water.

Sunday was not quite so bright but still was a beautifully calm day with just a hint of a breeze from the north-west. I was captivated by the site of three Roe Deer as they made their way around the perimeter of the frozen lagoon. I didn’t believe that the ice would support their weight as they struggled to stay upright—shades of Bambi, the wobbly legged fawn, came to mind.

At around 9:30, a Bittern flew over the hide and I managed to get just one frame of it in flight as it headed south along the bank of the River Hull. During the afternoon, I was joined by fellow enthusiast Jonathan Roe from Beverley. Always nice to have good company on a very quiet weekend. Warden, Richard Hampshire was taking a small group (of one) around the reserve on a mammal hunt. His group disturbed three Roe Deer and they ran southwards along the top of the dyke. The light was fading fast but I did manage to get one rather impressionistic image of a deer as it ran at full speed through the snow.

Well, I’m migrating east to Hungary next weekend for a week—so this will be my last post until Christmas day. Hopefully, I will have a few Eagle photographs to share, if I make it back before the 25th.

Just in case, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and maybe Santa will bring you that new lens or camera. 😉


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5 thoughts on “Dancing on ice

  1. Richard Hampshire on said:

    Nice work on the bittern Tony! Was wondering when someone would find it – so well done! Good luck in Hungary (sounds like it might be warmer!) and merry Christmas if I don’t see you before…

  2. Well done with the Bittern.
    You deserved it for your dedication.
    Santa has just brought me my present to myself……………….a Canon 500 f/4 L IS USM.
    Enjoy your trip to Hungary it might well be warmer as Richard says, and I will no doubt see you around the reserve in the new year.

  3. Jonathan Roe on said:

    Great work Tony.

    Wish I had been there when you saw the bittern.

    Jonathan Roe

    • Hi Jonathan. I would have mentioned the Bittern but I didn’t realise what it was until I got home and viewed it on my big monitor. Even then, I had to seek expert advice from Richard Sears!

  4. Thanks Vince. Good look with your new lens…it’ll be well camouflaged against the snow. 😉

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