Neighbours are enjoying the sight of moorhen chicks at Harlands Pond, Ridgewood, and keen photographer Jonathan Close has captured lovely pictures of them.
Jonathan, who lives opposite the pond, says there were seven moorhen chicks last year and all of them survived. They left when they grew up, but the adults stay all year.
There are seven chicks again this year but there is a visiting heron so while they are small they are at risk.
The mother made her nest in a tree that fell down into the pond this year. Last year it was in the middle of the pond.
There are also Mallard ducks. There were three pairs for the winter but just one pair and two males now. There were two ducklings last year, 11 to start with but a fox got some of them, five made it to adulthood and stayed for the year.
Jonathan is hoping they are nesting locally and will return with the ducklings to the pond.
He took his pictures on a Sony A7Riii digital camera, with a 100mm to 400mm lens. He normally concentrates on landscapes but during the first lockdown when travel wasn’t allowed he went over to the pond every morning to see how the chicks were doing. “It’s so nice to see them again this year,” he said.
Jonathan has enjoyed photography for 40 years, originally developing his own black and white prints, but then moving on to digital.
He said: “Digital is far easier and cheaper once you have the equipment, though you do tend to take more pictures when you are not limited to 36 as it was in film days.”
Jonathan is a member of Uckfield Camera Club, which has been meeting via Zoom over lockdown. He’s hoping they will get back into meeting in person later this year and looking forward to that.
The heron photographs were taken by Jonathan last year.
Thank you to Jonathan for all these pictures.