Tag Archives: ducklings

October Ducklings!

About a month since my last post and I really wouldn’t have guessed that I’d be writing about ducklings in October, but I am.

It was at my old haunt at Falmer Pond. I was there this morning before work. The heron was about, some greylags were congregating on the water, gulls were circling… and a female duck was taking four tiny ducklings out for a swim. So far as I know this is wildly out of season. Ducklings normally hatch in late spring to early summer, but these are no more than a few days old. They are either a very late 2017 brood… or possibly an early 2018 clutch! Either way, they were an unexpected delight!

These are Indian Runner ducks (or a hybrid variety). They are permanent residents at the pond (the first adults arrived a few years ago, and I think the mother may be a second generation pond inhabitant). The original adults were quite possibly domestic birds that were ‘relocated’ to the pond. With luck the youngster will survive and put on weight before winter.

Ducklings in October at Falmer Pond

Foraging at the edge of the pond

ducklings

Three Ducklings in a row

Duckling making a splash

And lastly a portrait of the local heron

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

Posted in Birds, water birds Also tagged |

Back to the Pond

After a couple of weeks away from the pond, I was back there this morning and so were most of the usual gang. It didn’t take me long to find the local heron, hiding away under the trees on the wooded bank.

grey heron

The greylags were there as well. This one enjoying a good splash (as were many of the birds). It’s a ritual that is extensive as the juveniles lose their downy feathers and adults complete their moult. The splashing serves a useful function of cleaning the new feathers of dust and mites.

greylag goose

There were ducks (of course). This one was paddling in my favourite corner of the pond.

duck

I was surprised (but pleased) to see that there were even some late-season ducklings swimming about.

ducklingd

The gulls were there as well. These two young herring gulls were harassing the adult for food… with some success.

herring gulls feeding

British Coastal Birds

Up on dry land, the rabbits were in lively mood.

rabbits

I even saw a rat 😉

rat

I’m still working on the gull special I mentioned a little while ago. It’s grown somewhat but it will get posted soon (within the next couple of weeks).

Precious few fox sightings lately, though the trail camera is picking up their nightly activity (plus a badger or two). The cast of characters is changing. The nicked ear fox has barely featured in recent footage, but there’s a young fox (this year’s brood) and an older fox with a stump for a brush who we saw several months ago but has reappeared after a lengthy absence.

More soon…

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

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More local wildlife, and a very special treat…

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