Shiny Ducks and Spurious Swans

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A Spurious Swan

You can’t blame kids for being ignorant when you see a parent tell them “Look at that Swan.”

That’s the “Swan” in the picture above. The white bird that’s the size and shape of a duck and has a curly tail just like a drake. It walks and talks like a duck too. I’m not one to take the moral high ground on bird identification, having already proved I’m shaky on waders and not good on gulls. (And if you wait for summer I’ll parade my tragic lack of warbler skills).

However, a Swan is a basic bird, like a Pigeon, a Sparrow and a Magpie. In an ideal world such basic knowledge would be part of the Parenthood Exam and if you couldn’t ID a Swan you wouldn’t be allowed to breed.

That should also weed out people who feed pigeons even though told not to.

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Who? Me?

 

Meanwhile, the Odd Couple seem as close as ever.

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I worry about these two…

 

16 thoughts on “Shiny Ducks and Spurious Swans

  1. clarepooley33

    I would like to think I would pass your Parenthood Exam. One of my proudest moments as a parent was when we visited Titchwell on the N Norfolk coast when my younger daughter was about three. We were in a hide with a few other people when my daughter said “It’s a coot, Mummy!” – and it was!
    The greylag appears to have a rather haunted expression!

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  2. Laurie Graves

    Between the birds and the humans, never a dull moment by the water. This post made me laugh out loud, and I even had to read parts of it to my husband. A good way to begin a gray, snowy Tuesday in Maine.

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    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      The difference between a duck and a cygnet is that cygnets have feathers all stubby and brown and all through the wintertime they hide themselves away.

      As Mr Kaye neglected to sing The Ugly Egret I can’t offer ant help on that one.

      😉

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  3. arlingwoman

    Oh dear. I sometimes wonder when I hear people talking about animals with no clue. That duck on the left in the last picture bears a resemblance to what we would call a Wood Duck. Coloration is different. That is not a female of the same type, as the female wood duck has a little snood on her neck. The goose, well, who knows, maybe they’re all friends. On my uncle’s farm Dusty the pony was really close pals with a black and white cow.

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    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      The Wood Duck and the Mandarin are related. He’s been following the goose for a couple of weeks now. I’ve never seen a female Mandarin on the pond and he often bickers with Mallards so he probably feels lonely.

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