Tag Archives: common sandpiper

Some Small Delights

This is a bit of a mixed bag of photos,some taken over the weekend at home, and others at Falmer. I’ll start in the garden with a photo of two bees enjoying some wild marjoram that has invaded our ‘lawn’ (it’s more of tiny meadow right now!).

Bees on wild marjoram

Bees on wild marjoram

Just alongside from there we have an old prefabricated pond. The newts like it, but it is being slightly overgrown by blackberry. The fruits are ripening and will serve birds or foxes well.

Ripening blackberries

Ripening blackberries

Now for the photos from Falmer. The first was unexpected, and was pointed out to me by a workman from the local farm. A kestrel had found a temporary perch at the rear of St Laurence Church.

Kestrel at St Laurence Church, Falmer

Kestrel at St Laurence Church, Falmer

The second is a bird I’ve been trying to photograph for a week or so, with little success. It’s a common sandpiper. They are highly prone to zip off into the distance, but this was just sufficiently in range and nicely perched on a floating branch in the middle of the pond.

Common sandpiper perched on a branch in Falmer Pond

Common sandpiper perched on a branch in Falmer Pond

There’s a treelined area (not quite a wood) along the southern fringe of the pond which provides a good habitat for the speckled wood butterfly. They enjoy the shade. This one is sharing a leaf with a greenbottle.

Speckled wood butterfly and greenbottle.

Speckled wood butterfly and greenbottle.

The last shot was taken over the fields at the western end of the pond. It’s not perfect, but capturing swallows in flight over uneven ground isn’t easy. Most of my efforts were badly out of focus, but this one just about works.

Swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

Swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

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

Posted in Bee, Birds, Butterfly, Insects, Plants, water birds Also tagged , , , |

New Ducks on the Pond + a common sandpiper

Life at Falmer Pond is generally fairly predictable. The gulls and geese come and go according to the season, the ducks stay around for the year, and the heron pops in every now and then. Once in a while though new ducks appear. Last year we had a couple of Muscovy ducks. The most recent additions are two near-white ducks which I saw for the first time yesterday (the photos are from today).

pair of white ducks

white duck

white duck

I expect them to be around for a while and they seem to be integrating well. Whether they arrived under their own steam, or were released, is another matter entirely.

One of the less frequent visitors is also one of our smallest wading birds, the common sandpiper. They tend to be shy (even of other birds), and I spotted this one picking its way through a shaded corner of the pond.

Common sandpiper

Common sandpiper

Common sandpiper

The last photo for today is a rather fine sparrowhawk, which was circling the car park when I arrived back at work after lunch.

sparrowhawk

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

Posted in Bird of Prey, water birds Also tagged , |

Common Sandpiper at Falmer Pond

The common sandpiper is an occasional visitor to Falmer Pond. These small waders are quite shy and will fly off to a more sheltered part of the pond if disturbed. I was lucky today, and with care was able to get within a reasonable distance. Even so, these shots are from three different corners of the pond.

Common sandpiper

Common sandpiper

Common sandpiper

I think this next photo is the first I’ve managed of one up on the grass bank.

Common sandpiper

Common sandpiper

Just one other shot tonight. It’s a pretty portrait photo of a moorhen chick. It’s one of the first brood (I’m now satisfied that there are two broods on the pond).

Moorhen chick

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

Posted in water birds Also tagged |