Saturday, 7 March 2009

Ugly ducklings?

I was watching the world go by at Bushy Ruff, where as usual I failed to find that unusual grebe or duck that I hope will drop in one day, when I wondered why and how?

How can you start off with something as beautiful as these Mallards and then through domestication and selective breeding end up with:

something as ghastly as this,

or this?

but then if you think about dogs and remember that they all come are one species and can end up as big as a Great Dane or as small as a Chihuahua it is obvious that by selecting the features that are wanted by 'man', after a few generations the animal can look quite different from the original. This is I suppose an accelerated and distorted insight as to how evolution changes species, but I doubt that anyone could call one of that rather ugly ducks an intelligent design!

A Grey Wagtail wandered along the waters edge near where I was sitting and as usual I couldn't resist a few more pictures of this beautiful bird.

As usual I found it hard to get a shot when the tail isn't a blurr, as they always, or nearly always manage to wag as I click the shutter.
It was only when I was looking at them this evening that I noticed that it was ringed. I can't quite get an enlargement sharp enough to read any all the numbers on the ring. It would be interesting to know if this was ringed locally or if it had travelled some distance to get here.

It seemed to be finding morsels to eat along the edge, but even it there aren't any natural tit bits there are enough crumbs left over from the duck feeding rituals that go on (despite the notices asking people not to feed the ducks) for it to have learnt to utilise these freebies.

1 comment:

lee said...

Excellent photos of the Grey wagtail Tony, i couldn't agree more about the ducks.