October Ducklings!

About a month since my last post and I really wouldn’t have guessed that I’d be writing about ducklings in October, but I am.

It was at my old haunt at Falmer Pond. I was there this morning before work. The heron was about, some greylags were congregating on the water, gulls were circling… and a female duck was taking four tiny ducklings out for a swim. So far as I know this is wildly out of season. Ducklings normally hatch in late spring to early summer, but these are no more than a few days old. They are either a very late 2017 brood… or possibly an early 2018 clutch! Either way, they were an unexpected delight!

These are Indian Runner ducks (or a hybrid variety). They are permanent residents at the pond (the first adults arrived a few years ago, and I think the mother may be a second generation pond inhabitant). The original adults were quite possibly domestic birds that were ‘relocated’ to the pond. With luck the youngster will survive and put on weight before winter.

Ducklings in October at Falmer Pond

Foraging at the edge of the pond

ducklings

Three Ducklings in a row

Duckling making a splash

And lastly a portrait of the local heron

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

Guess who was at Falmer Pond? (Rat Special)

If you go back a couple of years or so in my blog you will find multiple posts featuring the rats down at Falmer Pond. It’s a near perfect environment for them and they generally stay close to the pond. In recent years there have been concerted efforts to reduce the population, and largely its been successful. They’ve become very tricky to spot. I don’t know whether it was the very muggy weather today, but for once they were much in evidence. Here’s a small selection of them foraging at the edge of the pond.

rat

rat

Rat on the rocks

rat

Rat on the rocks

rat

Rat in 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.

A Little Dog Fox Special

The ‘Little Dog Fox’ is something of an outsider of the group. He’s the runt of the litter and gets bullied by the other foxes, and has even lost a small part of his ear (presumably in one of the many fights he gets into). He gives as good as he gets, screams and rushes at the other foxes, but can also be very sweet and submissive. These are a few pictures taken of him during today, starting with a new habit of his: knocking on the back door!

fox at back door

Little Dog Fox knocking on the back door

fox cub sticking tongue out

Little Dog Fox sticking his tongue out

fox and flowers

Little Dog Fox among the flowers

fox cub

Little Dog Fox relaxing in the shade of the garden

fox cub

Little Dog Fox relaxing at the end of the day

Camera note: photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 24-105 F4L IS USM lens, except the ‘tongue out’ photo which was taken with the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.