Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

Drought? What drought!

Roe Deer-stag

What a miserable week! Watching the rain battering the windows of my home-office for most of the week has been very frustrating. I thought I was developing Cabin fever. I did manage a mid-week evening trip to Tophill Low and got soaked in the process. I tell you, it’s no fun sitting in a cold hide in a wet fleece and trousers! I thought I’d go looking for a pair of Avocets that had been spotted by several people on the reserve. I headed for South Marsh but disorientated by the rain, I walked straight past the hide. I sought shelter from the rain in the hide overlooking Watter N.R. Nothing much about. Even the ducks were absent. A flock of Black-headed gulls flew-in but didn’t stay too long. Miracoulsly, a pair of Avocets were accompanying the gulls and I managed to get several photographs of these beautiful birds. Though, it was a pity they were such a long-way from the hide.

Nothing much else around, though a Long-tailed Tit braved the rain to make a brief appearance…

Long-tailed Tit_5

A Kingfisher spend a few minutes searching for its supper. Here’s a small montage as it flew off…

Stopped by South Marsh hide on my way back to the car. Just lots of noisy gulls full of the joys of Spring!

Thankfully, Saturday was a dry day. I made the most of the clement weather and photographed for three hours, both in the early morning and evening. I was so glad to have my camera in my hand once again that I didn’t really care if nothing turned-up. There was a cold wind from the N.W. that was blowing directly in my face but even that didn’t depress my spirit! The pair of Linnets were still present and I got several shots as they foraged for food. Apparently, the Victorians used to keep these as caged birds because of their vocal talents.

Linnet_4

A pair of Roe Deer were feeding on the lush new growth. My scent was lost in the strong wind and they seemed oblivious to my presence. Here’s a couple of images from yesterday…

Roe Deer-doe

Roe Deer doe_3

Suddenly, the stag appeared out of nowhere; right in front of me. It had forced its way through the dense brambles and the strong wind had prevented me from hearing its approach. We just stared at each other for a few seconds before I managed to get the photograph at the head of this post. It disappeared as quickly as it arrived. I grabbed my camera and opened the hide door and watched it leap over the nearby drain. I tried to capture the moment but foreground vegetation spoiled the photo. Ho-hum!

I hadn’t seen the local fox for a few weeks and was delighted to see it out hunting once more. I got several photographs in the early morning light as it wandered down to the lake for a drink…

Red Fox stroll_3

During my evening vigil, the same Fox wandered right in front of the hide and scrutinised me for a few seconds with that incredible stare.

Red-Fox head profile

Red-Fox head detail_3

Look like the weather forecast for the coming week is also pretty dire. Never mind, I expect that Summer is just around the corner?

Thought I’d add a small picture of the Roe Deer stag that eluded me. Just goes to show that I have my fair share of missed opportunities and disappointments!

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7 thoughts on “Drought? What drought!

  1. Fab photo’s despite the weather. You could have sat in the warmth and dryness of our lounge and photographed the inaugral flight of Malcolm the baby pigeon and also captured the hatching of four Moorhen chicks on our pond! (Not as exciting, I’ll grant you, but at least you’d have stayed dry.)

  2. Thanks Mandy! Perhaps I’ll take you up on your kind offer if the rain continues!

  3. beautiful photos!

  4. Tony… your photography is so different from when we met a decade and a half ago ~ and in a way I think it is much better because of the challenges between, say, your old and unusual transporter bridge image (firmly fixed) and the reasonably common Long-Tailed Tit (flitting and elusive). However, the combination I viewed recently – Barn Owl image as a Pd. print – was the “cerise sur le gateau” as they say here in France. Maybe one day you will visit la Brenne… the area of a thousand (many more actually) lakes quite near here in the next-door Indre département.

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