Ok, moan over!
|Gull roost at TopHill Low|
It's a bit of an odd reserve in that it's owned and I think managed by Yorkshire Water and with 2 huge reservoirs plus associated drinking water extraction plant on site it makes for an interesting juxtaposition with the surrounding wetlands alongside the River Hull. The reservoirs themselves hold many wildfowl and roosting gulls in the Winter, thousands of hirundines and regular tern species in Spring / Summer and when they drain the reservoirs every 5 years or so some spectacular numbers of waders in the Autumn. The surrounding reeds and woodland are complimented by several hides that overlook the half dozen or so well managed lagoons and both the river and surrounding fields are good for birds. Otters have been seen here very recently and even made the local news - Otters flooded out of home (a family party had been seen the day I was there) All in all it's a cracking spot and well worth a visit .... oh yes and one of my twin daughters, Sophie has worked there on and off for the past year or so as a volunteer and therefore contributed to it's marvellous upkeep!
|Winter view of one of the Lagoons at Tophill Low (pic courtesy of Ian Traynor)|
I only had a couple of hours there but managed a few good shots, especially of this drake Pochard as I peered over the reservoir wall. There were upwards of 800 Wigeon plus Tufted Ducks, Gadwall, Mallard and good numbers of Teal (c 400). A flock of about 60 Curlew was a good record and I also had a couple of Redshank. Plenty of Fieldfares and Redwings about busily feasting on the still abundant berries but still not got that 'gripper' of a shot of either - this is the best I could do before my fingers started to freeze up! (Fieldfare 1st pic, Redwing 2nd)
If I'd been at the reserve a bit earlier I might have been lucky and got some pics of the Otters ..... here's some pics from the reserve's blog that I suspect were taken the same day I was there. It must have been some sight to see both adults and cubs slitherin across the ice!