Cormorant at Falmer Pond

Just a simple entry today, of the lone cormorant that’s been hanging around at Falmer Pond recently.

cormorant

Cruising

cormorant

About to dive

cormorant

Surfacing

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Scamp and Long Nose (fox special)

Both the young foxes were around today, and both were utterly charming and cooperative with the camera. Scamp was the early arrival, this morning which is when I took this back-lit silhouette of her.

Scamp, the young vixen in silhouette

Scamp, the young vixen in silhouette

We named her Scamp because of her early habit of scampering away into the undergrowth, but she has become rather bolder as time has progressed. She is still more reserved than her brother, but they get on well together.

fox sitting in foreground with second fox in background

Long Nose, the young male fox, with Scamp relaxing in the background

Long Nose was named for his long, elegant snout. He was the first of the cubs we named at a time we were still using physical identifiers for naming purposes. Given his relationship with Scamp (or Scampi), I sometimes think we should have called him Chips (Scampi and Chips). The more I see of him, the more he reminds me of one of last year’s cubs we called Black Tail.

fox reclining with head raised

Long Nose strikes an elegant pose

Long Nose has made a speciality of sprawling himself out int eh sunshine. He is undoubtedly one of the most relaxed foxes we’ve had visit. These shots are typical.

fox stretching

Long Nose stretching

fox relaxing

Long Nose without a care in the world

Scamp tends to be more cautious, or at least to pick slightly more sheltered corners to spread out.

fox leaning over steps

Scamp, sprawled but alert on the steps

fox in long grass (portrait)

Scamp, peering out through the long grass

This pair are the only two of the cubs who have remained visible through the summer. I think there is at least one other around, but each fox is different and some remain cautious and secretive. Over the next two or three months the annual redistribution of territory will take place and the chances are that at least one of this pair will move on to a new location. Last year only one of the cubs (Pretty) remained over winter (she still visits regularly). It would be nice to think that at least one of these two will stay this year.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, except the silhouette which was taken with the EF 24-105 F4L IS USM lens.

Dancing Swallows and other local wildlife

I’ll start with the barn swallows. I took these photos yesterday of them swooping high above farmland at Falmer.

swallows

Swallows flying over Falmer Pond, East Sussex

swallows

Swallows flying over Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Being Falmer I also kept my eyes open for the local rodents. After a relatively barren period they do seem to be back, though not in quite the numbers of a few years ago.

rat

Brown rat at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

rat

Brown rat peeping out from the undergrowth

As always there were plenty of gulls and ducks, but less common is the common sandpiper. These birds are very shy and extremely difficult to approach.

common sandpiper

Common sandpiper at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Plus one from today, a splendid white duck (a pond resident), imitating a water lily…

duck preening

Duck imitating Lily

And just because I can, here’s a portrait of Long Nose, the young male fox in an ultra relaxed frame of mind.

fox

Portrait of Long Nose

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.