Tag Archives: greylag

Goslings at Falmer Pond

I had a lovely surprise this morning when I arrived at Falmer Pond. The greylags have produced a clutch of goslings. There are eight youngsters and they seem to be doing very well indeed. Here they are sheltering from the drizzle under the safe wing of mother goose.

goslings sheltering under goose

One of the characteristics of geese is that they are very protective of their young. There’s always one or two adults in very close proximity, and often the other geese lend a hand forming a phalanx or circle around the new brood.

goslings

goslings

As the day grew busier the adults sensibly ushered the chicks to the safety of the water. As in previous years the local white goose has adopted the role of protector-in-chief, making sure no harm comes to the babies.

greylag goslings

There’s also been a little more progress on the fox front. We’re still in the lurking stage (the fox hangs back in the undergrowth and I daren’t move), but the fox is slowly becoming more tolerant and curious. To make things slightly easier on myself, I’ve started using a longer lens! This is one from tonight.

fox

Camera note: gosling photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens. The fox was photographed with the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

Posted in Foxes, water birds Also tagged , |

Fog, Tree Slime and some other photos

The clear skies were well and truly absent when I set off to work this morning. It was a slow and careful drive through thick fog. Consequently there was little to see at the pond… or to be precise there was little that I could see at the pond.

Falmer Pond in thick fog

There was a temporary respite in the middle of the day (my drive home in the evening was once again through fog), and some cool sunshine. So for some welcome variety here’s a greylag goose with a nice reflection in the calm of the water.

Greylag goose and reflection

There were plenty of gulls (herring and black-headed varieties). This black-headed was one of the few already displaying its breeding plumage from which their name derives.

Black-headed gull

As for the ‘tree slime’ in the title, it was bright orange and oozing from a recently cut tree stump.

tree slime

From what I’ve found about this, it’s a yeast that feeds on the rising sap of untreated stumps, and is more prevalent after extended periods of wet weather. Well the trees around the pond have been cut back in the past few weeks, and we’ve certainly had an extended wet period. The slime is harmless. There’s some straightforward information about this stuff on the Cornell Mushroom Blog.

And yes, in case you are wondering I did spy the occasional small furry rodent. To be fair they were mainly keeping out of sight (the lunchtime sun brought quite a number of people out, and the rats prefer to keep out of view when it’s busy). This is a silhouette of a rat running down a tree.

Silhouette of rat running down a tree

It then made a dash across the water to the security of a bankside rat run.

Rat swimming

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

Posted in fungi, rats, water birds, Weather Also tagged , , , , |

Mating Greylags and More Fox and Badger Video Fun

More sunshine, and signs that spring might be upon us. Likely it’s a false dawn, but we can but hope. These greylags were certainly in tune with the change of season, happily mating in the cool, early morning sunshine.

Greylag geese mating

Greylag geese mating

Greylag geese mating

Lunchtime brought more signs of spring. I was taking a walk along one of the country lanes just outside Falmer. The trees are already in leaf, and the birds were singing.

country lane

Just off the path I spotted my second butterfly of the year (and managed my first photo). It’s a small tortoiseshell, and it seems an early showing.

Small tortoiseshell butterfly

As for the foxes (and badgers), they are still enjoying the garden at night, especially now the rains have more or less stopped (cue downpour in the next 24 hours). Here are the three foxes again, plus a couple of badger encounters.

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

Posted in Badger, Butterfly, Foxes, Landscape Also tagged , , , , , , |