Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

The secret of photography is patience…

Well, I eschewed the normal Christmas festivities this year for the sub-zero delights of Tophill Low. (Bah Humbug!) The weather forecast for Christmas day was excellent and motivated by my recent successes in Hungary (more details in my next blog), I was keen to witness the quiet and wintery landscape.

Together with the reservoirs, the lagoon at North Marsh was still frozen and even Barmston drain was solid. I wish I had remembered to bring my compact camera with me when a two immature foxes appeared directly below the hide—too close to focus with my long lens. Another, more mature fox, did appear later that morning but it was a Sparrowhawk that was most active throughout the day. I managed to get a couple of shots; one in flight and another perched in a nearby tree.

Boxing day was just as cold and the dawn was quite spectacular. The following image was taken with my compact camera from the hide window…

Once again, a Red Fox was the star of the show. I was fascinated as it wandered over the frozen lake sniffing at the base of the reeds. Once or twice, it adopted a a crouching pose, ready to pounce on some unsuspecting rodent. I wanted to capture a shot of the fox mid-pounce, but it was always obscured by the surrounding reeds and vegetation. Never mind, I still managed to get this ‘come hither’ look as the fox turned amongst the frost covered landscape.

I did remember to bring my compact camera with me on Boxing day and even though this camera has a very limited zoom (the equivalent of 28-105mm in 35mm terms), I was delighted to make several good photographs of the local wildlife. The first image from the Canon S95 is of a Roe Deer in the woods just outside the North Marsh hide. The second shot of a Kestrel was taken with the compact from my car as I returned home along the approach road from Tophill Low.

Just goes to show that it’s not always the camera that important. Maybe, I will re-visit this subject later this year and leave my expensive DSLR kit at home and just wander around the reserve with my compact camera? Sounds like a New Year’s resolution doesn’t it?

I hope to work on my recent photographs from Hungary over the next few days, so please do come back for a peep later this week. I can promise you some fantastic image of White tailed Eagles and other beautiful birds.

Note: Please click on the images to view a larger (uncompressed) version!


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