Saturday, 16 January 2010

Love a Duck

The persistent drizzle and poor light had me settle down to watch some football and cricket. However, Stoke and Liverpool never reached the standard of a local park game, and the cricket has become farcical when, even with the aid of microphones and replays, Daryl is still unable to get it right. So I went out into the great outdoors and kept dry in the hide at the Restharrow Scrape.

There wasn't anything too exciting, but this lone male Wigeon fed close to the hide, mostly with it head down sifting through the water.

When it did put it's head up it showed what a handsome duck the Wigeon is. Despite being alone, as far as I could see anyway, several times it let out the whistle, that when done by a large flock in unison is one of the evocative sounds in winter.

Near by a male Shoveler adopted a similar position, head down and only coming up for air occasionally.

The Shoveler's beak is really one of the great wonders of the avian world. With a complex filtration system built in it enables it to efficiently extract tiny planktonic items of food from the water.

A few Teal dabbled round the edges of the water, but remained a fair distance away.

The large party of mallards at the far end of the scrape were already getting fairly worked up, with lots of head bobbing going on. As yet I haven't seen any groups males chasing females in a determined attempt at mass assault, but it looks as if it wont be long.

A pair of Mute Swans were in leisurely occupation, gentle preening. I would appear that this pair has already persuaded last years young to push off. Often the young take some time before they get the message that there's no room for them in the territory one they are all grown up.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Nice pics Tony.

Siskin is on its way to your garden !

see what you can do about a wigeon for my patch. ;-)