Common Sandpiper at Falmer Pond

The common sandpiper is an occasional visitor to Falmer Pond. These small waders are quite shy and will fly off to a more sheltered part of the pond if disturbed. I was lucky today, and with care was able to get within a reasonable distance. Even so, these shots are from three different corners of the pond.

Common sandpiper

Common sandpiper

Common sandpiper

I think this next photo is the first I’ve managed of one up on the grass bank.

Common sandpiper

Common sandpiper

Just one other shot tonight. It’s a pretty portrait photo of a moorhen chick. It’s one of the first brood (I’m now satisfied that there are two broods on the pond).

Moorhen chick

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

Feeding the Chicks

I was back at Falmer Pond today, checking out how the little moorhen chicks are coming along. A second nest has appeared, but I can’t make my mind up whether this is for a new brood or simply that the original family has moved home. I’ve not seen any activity on the original nest, but that could simply be a matter of timing. The chicks are doing fine, and the adults are still busy making sure they get their vitamins.

Moorhen chicks

Moorhen chicks

Moorhen chicks

Spending so much time skulking around the edge of the pond (me, that is) it’s impossible not to see the true skulkers (rats, that is) dashing in and out of the undergrowth. This is the cutest of the photos from today.

Brown rat in undergrowth

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

Woodpecker Time

Woodpecker sightings are, for me, still a rare enough phenomenon to be worthy of note, and a photo or two. Today was doubly special as I spotted two woodpeckers within a few yards of each other while out in Westlain Plantation, a small wood at the edge of Falmer. The first was a male great spotted woodpecker.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Approaching woodpeckers is a mug’s game. They are literally flighty, and sure enough as I edged towards the great spotted it took off to a more distant tree. Less true to form, a second woodpecker edged around a tree directly in front of me. It was a large female green woodpecker.

Green woodpecker

Green woodpecker

Green woodpecker

As you can see from the third shot, it too finally took to the wing. Nice though to see both species at one site, not least because it’s located no more than 50 yards from where I park the car in the morning. With luck and some patience I hope to see them again soon.

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

Blue Tits and Warbler

Here’s another selection of the smaller garden birds that are plentiful at this time of year. Two species today: the blue tit, which is unmistakeable with its blue cap and bandit mask. The second bird is a warbler, but whether it’s a chiffchaff or willow warbler I really cannot tell. The easiest way to distinguish the two species is by their song, but this one was silent throughout its visit.

First the blue tits…

Blue tit

Blue tit

Blue tit

Blue tit

And the willow warbler (or chiffchaff)…

Willow warbler (or chiffchaff)

Willow warbler (or chiffchaff)

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