Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

Another year over…

Dawn Fox and Mallard

It’s been three long months since I posted my last blog entry and I would like to apologise to my regular readers for my tardiness. The debacle over the sale of Watton Nature Reserve dented my enthusiasm for wildlife photography and following a period of reflection, courtesy of a short spell in Scarborough hospital, I decided it was time to re-evaluate my photography. I felt that I was becoming stale and needed a change of direction and a new challenge, so I eventually decided to revert to my former interest in monochrome ‘street-photography’. So, for the past few months I have been pounding the streets of the coastal towns of Yorkshire and documenting the life of these sea-side resorts.

I did consider selling my long lens and camera(s) but a good friend and mentor suggested that I should suspend my decision for a year or two. Three months later and I am very glad that I heeded his advice. I am enjoying my new project and to be quite frank, there are a lot of similarities between these two photographic genres. They both require excellent observational skills, a good sense of anticipation and more than often, fast reflexes too. In fact, I believe that they compliment each other and I can see me participating in both fields for the next few years.

One of my resolutions for the 2014 is to put together a book of my wildlife images taken at Tophill Low. It will be a self-published book, probably using Blurb and I intend to include the best of the photographs I have captured over the past four years. I don’t suppose it will ever make it to the shelves of a book shop. However, I hope it will provide me with a permanent record of my visits to Tophill Low and a reminder of the many friends I have made at this very special place.

Anyway, that’s enough of my struggles with my inner-self. It’s 2014 tomorrow and a whole new chapter. I would like to thank Richard Hampshire and all the volunteers at THL. A Happy New Year to everyone and may at least some of your dreams come true! I’m off to northern Norway in two weeks time to witness the frozen landscape and photograph the aurora. It should be fun!

Oh! and here are some pictures taken at Watton Nature Reserve a couple of days ago…

Fox running

Fox - geese and teal

Northern Pintail in flight

Little egret - blue sky

Winter wren

Kingfisher on willow


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16 thoughts on “Another year over…

  1. Barry Oakley on said:

    Strange that only this morning I was thinking I’d not seen any Tony McLean pictures for quite some time. But here you are again, Tony. Now, as I assume, Watton Carrs has been sold, what is to become of the place? Surely the wildlife has not departed. Hope there will be more of your nature pictures in the future. And I’ll be interested to see what you’ve captured at the seaside. Sorry to learn of your earlier hospital stay.

    • Thanks Barry. Watton Carrs has been sold to a mysterious buyer. I’m not sure what the future holds but I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Have a Happy New Year!

      • Hi Tony,
        I’m not used to blogs and this is my first attempt at responding to one and I’m not quite sure what I’m doing. However, I thought I would give it a try as I think your photos are outstanding and warrented some comments and a question. I love your street photography, you certainly have an eye and a sensitivity to the subject matter, so I wish you all the best with your new project. My particular interest though, as I am a wildlife artist, is in your wildlife images which are excellent! I am just so pleased you have held on to your lens and cameras in order to continue with this. My question is whether you would allow me to use your images, or parts of them, for my own artwork which in the past has been diverse but is now honing in on birds and animals in their environment? Either way, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you on your photographic ventures and hope you come back from Norway with some great shots.

      • Hi Annette

        You need not have worried. Your comment came through loud and clear!

        Many thanks for your kind comments too. I enjoy photography as much as you do your pastel artwork. Though I guess photography is a lot more expensive as a hobby 😉

        Please feel free to use any if my images as a basis fir your art. If you have time, I would love to see your interpretation of my original photos. Just e-mail me the link sometime in the future.

        Kind regards

        Tony McLean (currently in Alta, Norway where it is -20 C)

      • Annette Ashton on said:

        Thanks Tony, I shall send a link to you as and when I finish a painting.

        Best regards,



      • Hi Tony,
        I have just completed the painting “Fox in Winter” based on one of your photographs. See on the wildlife page. I thouroughly enjoyed doing it. I shall update you when I complete another one.

        I enjoyed the recent black and white photos you posted on flickr. Great stuff!



      • Wonderful print Annette. I wish I was as talented.

  2. I’m glad you didn’t give up wildlife photography and look forward to hearing more of the book. I hope you are now fully fit to enjoy your holiday. Happy New Year, Tony.

  3. Happy New Year, I can’t wait to see your book. I’m sure it will be amazing.

  4. Glad to see your back on the scene again,Tony and hope your recovering from your stint in hospital.So i’ll wish you a happy healthy new year and good look with the book.

  5. Great pictures and hope to see some of your townie pictures too. Hope you can be friends with another hide

  6. Bob Carter on said:

    I do hope you keep up the good work Mr Maclean I have enjoyed looking at your cracking photographs and sincerely hope the Watton site remains unspoilt. Good luck with the book!

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