Tag Archives: terrapin

Terrapin at Falmer

I’ve previously featured the occasional shot of the local terrapins, but I think this is the first time I’ve devoted a complete entry to them. Terrapins are invasive species, normally discarded pets following various ‘turtle’ TV and move fads. They have no natural predators, but are themselves highly predatory and cause significant damage to native wildlife. Fortunately the weather in the UK is generally to cold to enable successful breeding, but they can live to 40, so the problem is a long-term one.

There are several terrapins in Falmer Pond (the council should remove them, but hasn’t over a number of years), and their presence may have something to do with the very poor duckling survival rate at Falmer. I think the ones at Falmer are yellow-bellied sliders, judging by the marking to the side of the head (but I am very ready to be corrected if a terrapin expert is lurking).

Anyway, here’s a sequence taken today of one of the terrapins approaching a rock…

Terrapin swimming in Falmer Pond

Terrapin swimming in Falmer Pond

Approaching a rock (they like to bask).

Approaching a rock (they like to bask).

Terrapin clambering on rock

Terrapin clambering on rock

Getting there...

Getting there…

Reaching the high point (it slid over the far side almost immediately).

Reaching the high point (it slid over the far side almost immediately).

A second look....

A second look….

Yes, giving it a go...

Yes, giving it a go…

And then back into the water.

And then back into the water.

With the likelihood of a mini turtle craze again (movies do this), there are likely to be more pets now, and more abandoned later. They should never, ever, be released into the wild in the UK. Local wildlife cannot compete with them. More useful information on the Terrapin Information UK website.

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 terrapin

A Vole Rescue and other bits and pieces

I’ve been busy with other parts of life recently, hence the intermittent blogging. There are a few things to report though, about hte local wildlife, starting with a rescue of a baby vole. It happened at work where there is some building/digging going on. One of the site workers discovered a baby vole. It’s likely the nest had been disturbed by heavy digging, but he rescued one and passed it to a colleague of mine who found me in the main building, and from there it was a quick visit to my local animal rescue centre. Nothing very dramatic there, but it was a very tiny, very cute little thing. Sorry that the photo (taken on an iPod Touch) is so poor.

baby vole

Baby vole wrapped in toilet tissue

Other new babies on the block include these ducklings at Falmer pond.





There seem to be two broods, and hopefully they will survive and avoid the predators, one of which – unfortunately – is still lurking in the shallows.


Terrapin at Falmer Pond

Predators are also a risk from above, and I was pleased to see a fine peregrine falcon fly over Falmer.

Peregrine falcon over Falmer

Peregrine falcon over Falmer

Meanwhile the badgers and foxes are still making good use of the garden. I’ve not seen any tonight, but will try again in a few minutes.

All for now…

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (baby vole taken on an iPod Touch).

Posted in Bird of Prey, terrapin, Vole, water birds, Wildlife Also tagged , , |

The Cat in the Woods

It was an interesting and varied day today, with some genuine surprises. It all started calmly enough. I headed to Falmer Pond before work, photographed a few ducks, and this rather fine moorhen which was resting on the bank.


A young rabbit was poking its head above the long grass, all wide-eyed and alert.


And the great tits were continuing to provide for their young.

great tit at nest hole

Seeing a terrapin is always somewhat strange, though not entirely a surprise. They appear in the warmer weather, basking on the rocks at the edge of the pond. They’re an invasive species and are predatory on young birds so their presence, however exotic it may seem, is unwelcome.


At lunchtime I headed to the local woods, searching for blue tits. I’d come across some nesting boxes on previous walks, and today I was in luck. A couple of them are in use. The photos aren’t up to much. I need to work out how best to take photos under the dark woodland canopy, but it’s a start. This is probably the best of them.

blue tit

It was when I was heading back along the path that i spotted the woodland cat. It’s a small black cat with a yellow collar (so domestic, not feral). It’s evidently a good hunter because to my utter surprise it was trotting across the path carrying a baby rabbit. I’ve seen foxes with rabbits, but never a cat carrying such large prey.

cat with rabbit

cat with rabbit

That’s about enough for one post. I’ve just come inside from photographing the garden foxes. One of them is definitely becoming more comfortable with my presence. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow.

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

Posted in Behaviour, cat, Foxes, water birds Also tagged , , , , , |