Spent a pleasant but unfruitful morning at Tophill Low last Saturday. On arriving at the hide around dawn, I was delighted to see that the North Marsh lagoon was unfrozen. There was a hint of a gentle breeze from the west but hang on a minute—no ripples on the water!
What I first mistook for an ice-free surface was a lie. The lake had a thin veneer of ice that was totally transparent, Sure fooled me and I wasn’t the only one either. An hour or so later a couple of Mute Swans landed on the surface. I was surprised they didn’t sever a limb or two landing and then crashing through the surface ice. They didn’t stop long—far too much effort being an avian ice-breaker.
Shortly after I arrived, I spotted a red fox at the far end of the lagoon. I waited patiently as it idled along the bank in my direction. I bided my time but just as it got into range it suddenly began running through the reeds and I lost the opportunity for a great image. Ho-hum.
That was the story for the rest of the morning; just a few sightings of the local Sparrowhawk and no pictures. Still, it was still great to be outdoors amongst the wildlife.
Below is a picture of Ernie Howard with his winning prize for his entry to my ‘Six of the best’ competition. I hope to run a similar competition next year so watch this space!