Category Archives: sunrise

Flying Muscovy (plus misty sunrise)

A post is two parts tonight, the first section comprising a couple of shots taken early this morning as the sun was competing with the mists over the South Downs.

sunrise through mist

At ground level things weren’t so bad… two moorhens racing across the pond (and dodging gulls) as the light filtered through.

Moorhens racing on pond at sunrise

The remainder of the post is a short sequence of that most ungainly of the local water birds, the male Muscovy duck. Looking at him, it’s hard to believe he could possibly fly.

Muscovy duck

But he can, and here’s the proof.

Muscovy duck

Muscovy duck

Muscovy duck

Muscovy duck

Muscovy duck

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

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Red Morning and Brown Rats

Just one shot from the early morning as the sun rose above the South Downs. There was a mist hanging in the air, but as the sun rose the sky briefly turned a deep red. This lasted just for a few minutes.

sunrise

The rest of the photos for today were taken at lunchtime, at Falmer Pond. A pair of rats were scurrying around the roots of the trees overhanging the pond. One had found a comfortable vantage point above the water and was happily grooming.

rat

The second rat ventured out on to the rocks, before scurrying off.

rat

rat

The first rat was more relaxed and moved comfortably up and down the root system. Every now and then it would pause and offer a reasonably clear line to the camera through the tangle of roots and foliage.

rat

rat

It too eventually headed away over the stones, and disappeared into the thick cover.

rat

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

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Great Spots

The sunrise this morning was beautiful, the sky turning a rich gold as the sun crept up from below the South Downs at Falmer. This photo doesn’t nearly do it justice.

Sunrise over the South Downs

The cormorant was back, once again taking to the trees but I’ll skip those images today as lunchtime brought with it a rather special treat. Not these cute black-headed gulls posing on parallel tree stumps… (but I like the photo so I’m including it)

black-headed gulls

The treat was another lover of dead wood, a great spotted woodpecker. I spotted her flying across the churchyard and eventually located her in one of the trees next to the local farm.

Female great spotted woodpecker

For once a woodpecker proved to be moderately cooperative. These are substantial crops, but she kept mainly in view and only scuttled a little way up to the higher branches.

Female great spotted woodpecker

Female great spotted woodpecker

The other good spot of the day was seeing one of the local rats down among the roots that edge over the side of the pond. The colder weather and rising water level has made spotting the rats much more tricky that it was in the early autumn, and most days they aren’t in evidence at all. This one did catch my eye as it shot along the bank and then (like the woodpecker) proved surprisingly comfortable with the camera.

rat

rat

rat

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

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