Back to Basics

All these specialist bird reserves are alright, but today it was time for a trip back to the duck pond. It’s not as exciting as reedbeds and saltmarsh, but you can pull in a visit between getting a new watch battery and buying the ingredients for meatballs instead of making a full day of it.

I haven’t been for a couple of weeks and it seemed emptier today, with no gulls and only a couple of Tufted Ducks instead of the normal 20 or 30. There were five pairs of Greylag geese, which is more than usual, though I doubt there is room for five nests on the island.

The Mandarin Duck was there again today, following the geese around. I’ve never seen him with a female so he may be lonely.

That, apart from the numbers, seems to be the main difference – they now seem to operate in pairs more than they have been. Apart from the pigeons. They just seem to operate as a mob, and as soon as I even thought of feeding anything they gathered like vultures using ESP. They can’t, of course, read my mind. If they could they wouldn’t be so keen to get that close to me.

The pictures include a Mallard drinking from a puddle at the side of the pond (presumably on the grounds that he knows what ducks do in ponds) and a Moorhen standing beside the shoots of yellow flags, one of the few signs of spring produced by plants in the park. The landscape shot uses the “Dramatic” setting, which could equally be called the “Dark”setting.


“Dramatic” photograph


14 thoughts on “Back to Basics

  1. Lavinia Ross

    That Mandarin drake is beautiful. Hopefully he won’t be lonely for long.

    Definitely like the dramatic setting. This time of year is good for that!

    1. quercuscommunity

      There is a flock of around 40 feral pigeons at the park. I suppose they are descended from show and racing pigeons. They are like city pigeons but cleaner and healthier due to their country lifestyle. 🙂

      1. quercuscommunity

        It’s a great place for them – food scraps from the cafe, loads of food from kids feeding the ducks (despite the notices) and plenty of trees to roost in.

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