Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

A Sparrowhawk came to visit

Sparrowhawk female_1

I’m back home again and now fully recovered from my short break in Holland. Last Saturday morning, I was stood outside my front door in my dressing-gown drinking a cup of Espresso, when I suddenly heard a commotion in the bushes a few feet away. A female Sparrowhawk, and quite an old one judging by its white head feathers, came crashing through the garden. It perched in a bush just long enough for me to dash indoors and retrieve my camera. I rested my 500mm lens (plus a 1.7x T.C. that I hadn’t time to remove) on top of my car and managed to make several exposures before it flew-off. It returned again this weekend so it must be a regular visitor to this part of Driffield.

I’ve spent a few afternoons at Watton Reserve but without much photographic success. Plenty of Greylag geese and a score of Curlew to view so well worth a look. Last Sunday, I was just about to leave the hide when this Vixen made a brief appearance. How do I know it was a vixen? Well, perhaps this photograph may give a clue 😉


In fact, I’ve been quite lucky photographing several foxes on the reserve during the past few weeks. Here’s a couple of examples…

Fox on the river bank

Fox mid-pounce

The kingfisher at North Hide continues to entertain but was chased away by the local Sparrowhawk last Sunday morning. Here’s a picture of the Hawk perched in a nearby willow tree…


I know it may only be a modest bird, but I believe my greatest success of the week obtaining a sharp photo of a Goldcrest in the willow at North Marsh. This is the U.K.’s smallest bird (along with its more exotic cousin, the Firecrest) and I was really pleased to get a reasonable photograph. Just goes to show that often the best things come in very small packages.



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