Return of the Falmer Rats

It’s now several years since I posted about the rat population at Falmer Pond. This is partly because I visit the pond much less frequently these days, but also because for a period the rat population had been brought under control. It may well be that the pandemic has affected maintenance around the pond (and I certainly didn’t notice as many ‘do not feed’ signs around). Anyway, when I visited yesterday, in blazing sunshine, the rats were active and (photographically) a delight.

Brown rat at Falmer Pond
Brown rat at Falmer Pond

Most of the time they stayed well covered in the shrubs and roots overhanging the edge of the pond, which didn’t make for the easiest photography. I cranked up the ISO to 1600 and kept the lens wide open to ensure an adequate shutter speed. They were also rather cautious so that any movement on my part sent them scurrying for cover.

I left them to it for a while and wandered round the pond, spotting a lone heron high on the tree on the central island.

Grey Heron

The walk did the trick. When I got back to the ratting area, some of them had braved the more open space leading to the path.

Brown rats at Falmer Pond
Brown rat at Falmer Pond

If the weather holds up I’ll be going back to see how they’re getting on.

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

This entry was posted in Wildlife.


  1. Darko September 9, 2021 at 2:08 pm #

    Hi Paul, good to see you back again.
    Those rats are a proof that no pandemic – or any other catastrophe – can stop them 🙂 If all the other life on Earth would perish one day, they will still be around. Them and cockroaches 🙂

    • Words September 11, 2021 at 2:45 pm #

      Yes, they’re great survivors and that is such a good natural environment for them.

  2. Kerith September 10, 2021 at 2:57 pm #

    I have a soft spot for the rats. Resourceful little creatures.

    And I know how daft this sounds but somehow i still find it surprising to see a heron in a tree. Peacocks too. Anything from seagulls upwards really.

    • Words September 11, 2021 at 2:47 pm #

      I love the Falmer rats!
      On herons, you should get over to Seven Sisters during their breeding season (too late now). The trees in the forested side of the road are packed with them. The only gulls I’ve seen in trees are black-headed gulls.