Saturday, 11 December 2010

All iced up

With the temperatures rising from -14C earlier in the week to an astonishing +7C I took the opportunity to head to Tophill Low. Despite the road still being rather fun to drive along and the majority of the site remaining iced, there was still the odd thing to brighten the afternoon.

Spent most of the visit sat in North Marsh hide with Tony McLean who seems able to sit there for hours despite the chilly weather taking nice photos. Click here to see more. A couple of Buzzards, numerous Siskins and the odd Brambling calling from the north end kept the morale going and 3 Goosanders flew south along the river at dusk. A fox trundled over the frozen water giving an icy stare when the shutters clattered as it struck a pose!

Most of D res is frozen, though a small open area on the west side held a small selection of birds. The highlight was a Ruddy Shelduck, of unknown origin but the first I've ever seen - I might tick it! A drake Pintail stood out on the ice despite being distant and the rest was made up of assorted Coots (one sporting a red colour ring on its left leg), Greylags and the odd Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard and Goldeneye.

Ruddy Shelduck, asleep and showing distantly under the V

More of Tophill's winter pictures can be seen here on the warden's blog.

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