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Friday, January 25, 2013

Freezing my rocks off down the Pocklington Canal!

At last the water levels have receded enough in the Lower Derwent Valley to gain a bit more access and although  at the time of visiting a pair of  'mansize' waders would have been the only way to get onto Wheldrake Ings, the Pocklington Canal at Hagg Bridge was just about passable. I like this 'back entrance' to Wheldrake ... in Spring, it's a glorious walk alongside the canal, through largely unmanaged fields which eventually brings you out onto the Eastern boundary of the Ings itself. The morning I chose was just about as 'unspringlike' as you could imagine .... freezing cold and increasingly misty but before the freezing fog descended I did manage some good shots and it was just good to be out there instead of gazing at masses of floodwater!

Hoar frost always tends to attract a camera lens and I though made these Bullrushes look especially beautiful ..... having to take to my gloves off to take these pictures nearly resulted in loss of fingers though!

Now I'd much rather be getting up close and personal with Whooper or Berwick Swans but I've had several Mute Swan moments recently where I've been able to do a bit of post processing experimentation messing around with black and white and other colour formats ......all equally pleasing I think but at this stage I'm still finding my feet with post processing. Comments very welcome!

A nice little flock of Greylag Geese flew over during 'Swanny's' modelling session and I was just about able to re position myself to get them going over!

There was a noticeable increase in the number of Winter thrushes in the valley, probably due to even colder weather in Northern Europe, with maybe 250 Fieldfares and 150 Redwings along the canal alone plus an impressive 20 or so Song Thrushes mixed in.

I was still looking for that 'corker' of a shot of either but they were as skittish as ever and I had to make do with mid distance shots. As I write though I do have that 'gripper' of a shot in the can (I'm always a few days behind, mainly due to the fact that I'm a lazy git!) .... so is it a Fieldfare or a Redwing? Well, gripped with anticipatory excitement as I'm certain you are, you'll have to wait!


My arrival at Wheldrake coincided with a descent of desperately cold freezing fog so sadly that was that and I turned back, the only other highlights being at least 25 Snipe, all flushed from canal edges, about 200 Teal, a lone Buzzard and a small flock of 10 or so Tree Sparrows

By the time I returned to Hagg Bridge it felt like I was in some kind of freezing Tundra landscape and just about had enough feeling in my fingers to take a few bleak midwinter pictures


1 comment:

  1. Tim out of the four swans I like the colours on the first one and third however the effect on number two is very clever too. Great reflections in all four too.