Tag Archives: rat

Dancing Swallows and other local wildlife

I’ll start with the barn swallows. I took these photos yesterday of them swooping high above farmland at Falmer.

swallows

Swallows flying over Falmer Pond, East Sussex

swallows

Swallows flying over Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Being Falmer I also kept my eyes open for the local rodents. After a relatively barren period they do seem to be back, though not in quite the numbers of a few years ago.

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Brown rat at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

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Brown rat peeping out from the undergrowth

As always there were plenty of gulls and ducks, but less common is the common sandpiper. These birds are very shy and extremely difficult to approach.

common sandpiper

Common sandpiper at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Plus one from today, a splendid white duck (a pond resident), imitating a water lily…

duck preening

Duck imitating Lily

And just because I can, here’s a portrait of Long Nose, the young male fox in an ultra relaxed frame of mind.

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Portrait of Long Nose

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Guess who was at Falmer Pond? (Rat Special)

If you go back a couple of years or so in my blog you will find multiple posts featuring the rats down at Falmer Pond. It’s a near perfect environment for them and they generally stay close to the pond. In recent years there have been concerted efforts to reduce the population, and largely its been successful. They’ve become very tricky to spot. I don’t know whether it was the very muggy weather today, but for once they were much in evidence. Here’s a small selection of them foraging at the edge of the pond.

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rat

Rat on the rocks

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Rat on the rocks

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Rat in 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.

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.