Tag Archives: Pied Wagtail

Rat Standing on Two Legs (plus some birds)

Lovely sunny day today, and the local inhabitants at Falmer Pond were in one of their collectively more cooperative moods. Plenty of subjects to choose from, including the title subject (but I’ll reserve that for the end).

First up is something of a re-visit to yesterday’s post. Another dunnock, but this time in decent light against a clean background.

Dunnock on brick wall

Dunnock on brick wall

The great tits are busy too. This one is on a coconut ‘fat’ feeder at the front of St Laurence Church, adjacent to the pond.

Great tit on coconut shell

Then there are the little wagtails.

Pied wagtail on dead tree

And even the ducks were in fine fettle.

duck and reflection

But the star of the day… this little rodent. The water levels are gradually going down at the pond which has brought some of the summer rat runs back into use. This one is close to one of the more popular points for throwing bread to the ducks and gulls. A few crumbs had landed on top of the boulder. The rat was considering its options…

rat on hind legs

Rat on hind legs

rat on hind legs

Rat pushing large boulder

rat by water

It eventually chose an easier option.

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

Red-eyed Blackbird, plus lots more…

I had a good day with the camera today. It started early, with a group of very cooperative rats down at the edge of Falmer pond. There were 5 or 6 running around, but the best group shot I could manage was this one.

Three rats

Two more photos rats posing nicely for the camera.

Rat on tree stump

Rat perching on a tree stump

rat on grassy bank

Rat on grass bank

That was early morning, but by lunchtime the sun was properly up and I took the opportunity to add a 1.4x extender to the 100-400 Mark II lens. This gives a whopping 560mm lens, which combined with the crop sensor of the 7D Mark II gives an equivalent reach of just shy of 900mm on a full frame camera. That’s one of the reasons the 7D is so popular.

So with that kind of weaponry, what did I get?

Lots of photos of pied wagtails…

pied wagtail

Pied wagtail on the roof of St Laurence Church

Pied wagtail

Several photos of mistle thrushes, but these are my favourites…

Mistle thrush

Mistle thrush

Mistle thrush

The star spot though was an (un)common blackbird. At first glance there’s nothing particularly startling about it, but if you look closely the eye ring on this bird is red (not yellow), and the beak also had a red tint to it. I’m not sure just how unusual this is, but it was the first one I’ve seen.

blackbird with red eye ring and beak

Blackbird with red eye ring and red tint on beak

Using the extender limits you to the central focusing points (not really an issue for these sorts of photos). The lens remained very responsive and sharp.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. For the bird photos I added the Canon EF 1.4xIII extender.

Catching Flies

An unusually, but welcome, clear day. Chilly, but there are still insects in the air and the little pied wagtails were making the most of the opportunity to feed.

Pied Wagtail

Stepping out

Pied Wagtail

On watch

Pied Wagtail

Diving down

Pied Wagtail

Result!

Those were taken in the middle of the day. It had been misty earlier in the day, but the sun breaking through provided a beautiful view of the pond. This time of year can be very nearly perfect.

Falmer Pond

Falmer Pond on a misty morning

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