Tag Archives: woods mill

Little Grebe at Woods Mill

This is really the Easter Monday post. We spent the afternoon at Woods Mill, the headquarters of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. We started by checking out the kestrel, and while an adult was in evidence there are – as yet – no signs of the chicks. It may be a few more weeks before they appear.

There were plenty of small birds around (chiffchaffs, robins, long-tailed tits), but the best moments were down by the lake where a pair of little grebes (aka dabchicks) – in full breeding plumage – were parading up and down the water. It was a still day, and we were there towards the end of the afternoon. Near perfect conditions and light, though I would have been even happier if they had come just a little closer to the bank. Anyway, I posted one shot yesterday. Here are a few more.

Little grebe in breeding plumage

Little grebe in breeding plumage

Little grebe in breeding plumage

Little grebe in breeding plumage

Little grebe in breeding plumage

Little grebe in breeding plumage

We also checked out the hide. Lots of blue tits and great tits, plus dunnocks and even a squirrel.

Blue tit at Woods Mill

Blue tit at Woods Mill

Blue tit at Woods Mill

Blue tit on a feeder

Squirrel at Woods Mill

Squirrel in woodland

Squirrel at Woods Mill

Just two shots from today (I have plenty more, but this is getting long). The first is a trio of dunnocks in their ritual mating dance. Dunnocks are unusual in that their common breeding group comprises three birds (two males and female – she mates with both males).

Trio of dunnocks in mating dance

The last shots are a first for me. Not the fact that it’s a rat, but that it is perched on a dead carp floating at the side of the pond. Oh yes, it’s also sticking its tongue out! 😛

Rat sticking its tongue out while standing on a dead carp

Rat sticking out its tongue

 

rat eating a dead carp

Rat eating a floating dead carp

 

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 Birds, rats, water birds Also tagged , , , |

An Afternoon at Woods Mill

I spent a few hours yesterday at Woods Mill, the headquarters of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. It was hot (but not unbearable), with a light breeze. Perfect weather for a gentle walk through the nature reserve, which itself nestles in the South Downs National Park.

Fields at Woods Mill, East Sussex

The middle of summer isn’t the best time for wildlife watching. In the spring there’s all the breeding activity and new life, and in autumn many birds and animals become emboldened by the need to prepare for winter. So it was relatively quiet, but not without a few highlights. Several buzzards flew over, but the best raptor spot was a young kestrel (male) which was perching on one of the information boards.

kestrel at Woods Mill

kestrel at Woods Mill

Just along from there a pair of herons emerged from the fields. Nothing too dramatic in terms of photos opportunities, but good viewing as they flew over.

heron

I did rather better by the small lake. There was a lone swan there. I have a suspicion that it is rather used to humans as it paddled to the edge of the water each time I paused.

Mute swan at Woods Mill lake

Mute swan at Woods Mill lake

Mute swan at Woods Mill lake

There were a few moorhens, and one or two coots, plus mallards (of course). Nothing surprising there, but among them there were four or five little grebes (dabchicks), and they were in an entertaining mood.

little grebe (dabchick) at Woods Mill

little grebe (dabchick) at Woods Mill

little grebe (dabchick) at Woods Mill

little grebe (dabchick) at Woods Mill

One final treat. The small streams at Woods Mill provide a perfect environment for these very appropriately named “beautiful demoiselle” damselflies. The blue one is the male.

Beautiful Demoiselle

Beautiful Demoiselle

Beautiful Demoiselle

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens except images 1 and 5 (the landscape and the lake) which were taken with the EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens.

Posted in Bird of Prey, Birds, damselfly, Landscape, South Downs National Park, water birds, Wildlife Also tagged , , , , , |

Woods Mill, Sussex – Kestrel chicks and other creatures

Continue reading »

Posted in Bird of Prey, Butterfly, damselfly, water birds Also tagged , , , , , , |