Common Sandpiper

Just two photos today. A common sandpiper (one of a pair) that were flying circuits at Falmer Pond this morning.

Common sandpiper at Falmer Pond

Common sandpiper at Falmer Pond

Common sandpiper at Falmer Pond

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Terrapin at Falmer

I’ve previously featured the occasional shot of the local terrapins, but I think this is the first time I’ve devoted a complete entry to them. Terrapins are invasive species, normally discarded pets following various ‘turtle’ TV and move fads. They have no natural predators, but are themselves highly predatory and cause significant damage to native wildlife. Fortunately the weather in the UK is generally to cold to enable successful breeding, but they can live to 40, so the problem is a long-term one.

There are several terrapins in Falmer Pond (the council should remove them, but hasn’t over a number of years), and their presence may have something to do with the very poor duckling survival rate at Falmer. I think the ones at Falmer are yellow-bellied sliders, judging by the marking to the side of the head (but I am very ready to be corrected if a terrapin expert is lurking).

Anyway, here’s a sequence taken today of one of the terrapins approaching a rock…

Terrapin swimming in Falmer Pond

Terrapin swimming in Falmer Pond

Approaching a rock (they like to bask).

Approaching a rock (they like to bask).

Terrapin clambering on rock

Terrapin clambering on rock

Getting there...

Getting there…

Reaching the high point (it slid over the far side almost immediately).

Reaching the high point (it slid over the far side almost immediately).

A second look....

A second look….

Yes, giving it a go...

Yes, giving it a go…

And then back into the water.

And then back into the water.

With the likelihood of a mini turtle craze again (movies do this), there are likely to be more pets now, and more abandoned later. They should never, ever, be released into the wild in the UK. Local wildlife cannot compete with them. More useful information on the Terrapin Information UK website.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Rat Among the Roots

I got these before the rain arrived in earnest today. A lone rat, scrambling around the tree roots at the edge of the pond at Falmer.

Rat about to make the great leap

Rat about to make the great leap

Rat leaping across

Rat leaping across

And that's a fine landing!

And that’s a fine landing!

Checking out the next level.

Checking out the next level.

And a closing portrait... in black and white for a change.

And a closing portrait… in black and white for a change.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.