Tag Archives: moorhen

Some Falmer Friends

Over the last couple of days I’ve been back over at Falmer for work and taken the opportunity to look around some old haunts. The pond is still thriving, and despite the best and persistent efforts of the local council I don’t think they will ever completely eliminate these little creatures. They are certainly fewer in number (and there is much less feeding going on), but they are the great survivors.

Rat at Falmer Pond

Rat at Falmer Pond

I also spotted this cute little chiffchaff flitting among the branches over the pond.

Chiffchaff at Falmer Pond

Chiffchaff at Falmer Pond

And a fine looking young moorhen. This is undoubtedly their most elegant phase.

Young moorhen

Young moorhen

Those were all taken at the pond, but the campus wildlife is also thriving and I spent a good while watching this green woodpecker through a window before I had the chance to go outside to grab a quick photo.

Green Woodpecker at , University of Brighton Falmer campus

Green Woodpecker at University of Brighton Falmer campus

Lastly I’ll include a fox from tonight. He’s now waiting for me when I go outside, though the distance game continues in an increasingly pointless way. He insists I back off 10 metres before he comes out, but then lets me get to about half that distance. When he gets fed up with me he hides behind a bush. I retreat, he emerges, I approach… and we’re fine again for a few minutes. Repeat! Anyway, this was when he was waiting for the games to begin.

Fox waiting in the garden

Fox waiting in the garden

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens apart from the fox which was taken with the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens. The flash unit is the 430EX II (which has just repalced my vanilla 430EX which has finally given up the ghost.

It Begins with a Kiss

Two collared doves in a display of love and affection…

Collared doves mating on tiled roof top

It begins with a kiss…

Collared doves mating on tiled roof top

Collared doves mating on tiled roof top

Collared doves mating on tiled roof top

… and ends with a flutter.

Two more shots from today after all that (very brief) excitement 😉

First a rampaging moorhen…

Moorhen racing across Falmer Pond

Moorhen racing across Falmer Pond

And second the three ducks from the other day… this time out for a leisurely swim.

Trio of ducks on Falmer Pond

Trio of ducks on Falmer Pond

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

Grey and Black

There may be something of a theme developing here (see yesterday’s post) as I’m still focused on the dark side of the camera, and once again these are shot at a high ISO (1600) with lots of negative exposure compensation. The main sequence is a heron which after staying in fairly open areas finally pitched up just in front of some trees that are adjacent to the pond. This provided the dark backdrop I was looking for. There was enough light coming in to bring out the heron’s colour, but exposing for the background would have washed everything out. Hence dialling down the compensation to around -2. I lifted the whites in processing these, and damped down small parts of the background with the burn tool.

Grey heron at Falmer Pond

Grey heron at Falmer Pond

Grey heron at Falmer Pond

Shame about the duck in the foreground, but I liked the posture.

Grey heron at Falmer Pond

This is my personal pick. Nice and clean.

That proved to be a fruitful corner of the pond. While I was watching the heron I noticed a moorhen going back and forth. Tucked away under the low branches and among the tree rots a pair of chicks were scrambling around. I had to squat down right at the edge of the pond, with branches pressing all around to get any clear line on the chicks, and even then they were mostly obscured by foliage. I got three usable shots of which this is the pick. Compensation on this is a modest -1 (anything more would have lost the detail on the bird).

Moorhen chick among the tree roots at Falmer.

Moorhen chick among the tree roots 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.