Category Archives: water birds

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.

Cormorant and Fulmars

You may start to notice a subtle change of location over the coming weeks. Nothing too outlandish, but I have finally packed in working for good and am enjoying an early retirement. At the moment it feels like a holiday… I like it!

I headed down to Rottingdean this morning to see what was going on. The tide was out, as were a couple of cormorants. Not that they did very much other. The first one flew off while I was trying to gain a better vantage point. The second simply perched on a yellow warning sign for the better part of an hour. I gave up first.

cormorant

Cormorant number 1 at Rottingdean Beach.

cormorant

This is the second cormorant. It shifted position very occasionally, and defecated twice. Other than that, it did just about nothing!

cormorant

The most exciting move of the day!

cormorant

And in close up…

Between some of those shots I did wander along the cliffs to see what the fulmars were up to. There are still some about, and they are still playing their usual game of endlessly trying to land on the sheer cliff face.

fulmars

Fulmar failing to land at Rottingdean cliffs, East Sussex

fulmar

Fulmar at Rottingdean cliffs, East Sussex

And finally a quick shot of a rock pipit digging out a grub from the cliff walls.

rock pipit

Rock pipit catching bugs at Rottingdean cliffs, East Sussex

More fox cubs soon (and regular shots over on Fox of the Day).

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

Falmer Pond and a Blue Moon

That’s bit of a grand title, for what is simply my post this year about Falmer Pond. I was up there briefly this morning (early light, dull with a hint of rain) and then again at lunchtime when a little bit of sunshine appeared.

Although nothing especially unusual happens there, I like the peace and quiet and that occasionally there are one or two more interesting birds. Today was good day: a cormorant and a heron.

heron in tree

The heron was perched on the willow sited on the island in the centre of the pond.

Heron in flight

Heron in flight

Cormorant swimming

Cormorant swimming on Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Cormorant hanging itself out to dry

Cormorant hanging itself out to dry

And to mark the occasion, it’s what’s known as a blue moon today (the second full moon in the same calendar month). It’s also a super moon (at the closest point in its orbit). To be honest, it looks just like does every other time of the year, but I took a photo anyway.

Super Blue Moon

Super Blue Moon

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