Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

The Fox with Five Feet

Vixen-with rabbits foot

The problem with late Spring is that the sun rises so early. I often wish I was one of those dedicated nature photographers that could go to bed early and rise refreshed and smiling. I know dawn can often be the best time to photograph the delights of nature but truthfully, it screws up my body-clock for several days afterwards. To make matters worse, there was a sharp frost over the weekend and it felt more like December than early May. Still, perseverance has its own rewards and in my case, those rewards were some superb photographic opportunities.

Thank goodness I now have a camera that can perform in low-light. Exposure and focus is extremely difficult in such contrasty situations. I had to override my normal aperture settings during almost every exposure but I believe it was worth it. Here’s a few examples of my early dawn shoots…

Canada Geese-morning mist

Barn Owl-misty dawn

Vixen-first light


I saw the same Roe Deer Stag again, later that morning and managed to get this photograph of this magnificent animal…

Looking rather wet? That’s because a little earlier, I went to investigate a loud ‘barking’ call and saw it swimming across an adjacent drainage ditch.

I have been wanting to photograph Avocets for quite a while. I had heard that there were perhaps two pairs on the reserve, with one pair having established a nest over on South Marsh east. (Please see Tophill Low’s warden Richard Hampshire’s blog for more details). I was therefore delighted to see a pair in the early morning and even managed to get some flight shots as they swooped low over the lake…

Avocets in flight

Wonderful birds I’m sure you’ll agree and a fitting emblem adopted by the RSPB that symbolises their own bird protection movement.

Swallows were everywhere. I had spent a couple of hours one evening trying to capture them in-flight but without much success (yes, I must try harder). So for now, I’ll have to be content with a ‘bird-on-a-wire’ image… Sorry!

Sedge Warblers were making their usual frenetic callings but seemed reluctant to show themselves. They appeared to be quite content to hide amongst the reeds and brambles though I did manage to get a photograph of this cute little bird singing…

Sedge Warbler-singing

A couple of Yellow wagtails flirted around the margins of the lake but never got close enough for a really good image. However, I do like this photograph for the strong colours of its yellow plumage contrasting against the lush green grass and purple flowering Bugle. As usual, I just wish I was a little closer.

Finally, as I’m in such a good mood, I’ll post a couple of humorous pictures to cheer everyone up on this cold, wet day in May.

Cormorant-poop shoot


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3 thoughts on “The Fox with Five Feet

  1. Hi Tony

    More lovely captures. So pleased you have the D3s. It is fantastic in low light. I have added the D800 to my kit so on a voyage of discovery with it! Want to try some video. Do you fancy meeting up for a shoot?

    Kind regards Roy.

    • Hi Roy

      Sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. For some reason, it ended up in my spam folder?

      You have some truly magical images on your web site. You are obviously as keen as I am! I wish I could afford the D800 as a back-up camera but it will have to wait for the moment.
      I would be interested in meeting up sometime as you are obviously a very talented photographer and one that knows how to use Photoshop to get the most out of your images.

      Very best wishes

      Tony McLean

  2. Hi Tony

    Thanks for your kind comments. Tony would love to meet up with you. Please give me a call sometime on 01646 601434. Maybe we can get a date in the dairy. kind regards Roy ps sorry for the delay just picked up message

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