Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire



I managed to dodge some very heavy showers this week and made my way down to Tophill Low’s North Marsh hide. After a few minutes, I saw a water vole swimming about but a patrolling Coot kept it at bay. I watched patiently for an hour or so. There was very little activity elsewhere on the marsh and night-fall was rapidly approaching. I got bored and explored the surrounding woods for ten minutes. I approached the hide once more, this time on tip-toe to avoid any vibrations, and was rewarded with a great display from the vole as it munched away on the fresh green reed shoots for almost ten minutes. In that time, I made over two-hundred exposures! Here’s another one from the series…


Elsewhere on the reserve, I’ve been watching a pair of Little ringed Plovers. Unfortunately, the pair never came quite close enough to get a perfect image. However, I did manage to obtain the following photograph after patiently waiting for almost four hours.

Four hours may seem like a very long time but time passes quickly. There is always something to observe and at this time of year, territorial disputes are common. Coots are particularly aggressive and always fun to watch. The resident pair of Mute Swans on Watton N.R. will challenge any goose that gets too close. Of course, reproduction his high on the agenda at this time of year and this pair of Shoveller’s were no exception.

Here’s a picture of the female Shoveller when it wasn’t partly submerged underneath the drake…

Shoveller (female)

Many of the migrants have now returned to the reserve. Swallows were flying low over the water, despite the chilling north wind and frequent wintry showers. I amused myself for an hour trying to capture these birds as they swooped and swerved. It was fun, but I hoped to do better later in the coming months.

Swallow in flight

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2 thoughts on “Ratty

  1. I love the water vole photo’s, especially the second one

  2. Thanks Mandy. I’ve got another 180 pics but I don’t want to saturate my Flickr page. Now stop you prevarications and get back to your statistic homework!

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