Category Archives: water birds

Cormorant and Gulls

I spent a couple of hours this morning at Falmer Pond. I wasn’t expecting much (I was really planning just to test out some new gear), but on arrival I spotted this beautiful cormorant perching on a rock at the edge of the water.

cormorant

Cormorant at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

I think I may have been disturbing a private moment though…

cormorant defecating

Those were both taken with the 100-400 lens, but I was interested in getting familiar with my 500mm lens and a new tripod head (Flexline). The beauty of the Flexline is that you set it up so that the horizon is always level, even when you start moving the lens around. And even better, the lens doesn’t creep! This won’t mean much if you’ve not used tripods, but ‘creep’ is a big issue and means constant alignment and readjustment with most systems. Anyway, the remainder of the shots here were taken with the longer lens, from a tripod. Using the Flexline was a delight.

A couple more of the cormorant…

cormorant

Cormorant

I did some gentle tracking (very easy and very smooth), including several shots of juvenile herring gulls.

juvenile herring gull with fish

Herring gull at Falmer Pond with fish

juvenile herring gull splashing

A bigger splash

The second species of gull at the pond is the black-headed gull, though most of them have now lost their chocolate brown breeding plumage and simply display a dark facial spot.

Black-headed gull at Falmer Pond, with fish

Black-headed gull at Falmer Pond, with fish

black-headed gull on rock

Back home the foxes were in and out of the garden this afternoon, including a visit by Pretty Vixen.

fox

Pretty Vixen

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens or EF 500mm f/4 IS II USM lens.

Just Ducks

I tend to ignore the ducks when I visit Falmer Pond but there was little going on today and the ducks were being unusually cooperative (i.e. flying the length of the pond rather than dabbling).

Duck at Falmer Pond

Duck at Falmer Pond

Duck at Falmer Pond

Duck at Falmer Pond

Duck at Falmer Pond

Duck at Falmer Pond

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

Cygnets at Woods Mill

I spent part of the day over at Woods Mill, the Sussex Wildlife Trust centre. They currently have some nesting kestrels but the stars of this visit were the young cygnets.

Swan and cygnets

Swan and cygnets

cygnets

On the nest, taken from a safe distance

Swan and cygnets

Swan and cygnets

cygnet

Cygnet

There was also a family of little grebes. The light made photographing them all but impossible, but I did get a couple of nice shots.

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Little Grebe and chicks

Little Grebe and chicks at Woods Mill, Sussex

I also saw a red kite (plus one on my way there). It seems they may have finally made it to Sussex. I’ll be keeping an eye out for them. That’s three or four sightings this year.

Red kite

Red Kite at Woods Mill. Next time I’ll try to photograph one coming towards me!

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