Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Dodgy ducks

Sunday saw me scraping the barrel a bit for photo year ticks - but it added a dash of colour at least. First up was a Mandarin Duck in Bournemouth, part of a small feral population there. I used to have to wait until a visit to the family home in the Forest of Dean to see these, where they are virtually guaranteed at Cannop Ponds. While common and widespread in Asia, it is sometimes said that the British population at least provides some back up should anything catastrophic happen in its home range. Not inconceivable given that declines in China and Russia mean that Japan is now the stronghold of the species. Having lowered the bar of entry to the photo year list to admit Mandarin, it was a short leap ethically speaking to do the same with Red-crested Pochard, a pair of which turned up at nearby Longham Lakes.
Drake Mandarin Duck (#182)
Don't think I've ever see one fly before so these photos are a bit of a rarity
A more typical view
Note the flattened 'sail' made by the orange tertials, usually held upright
Not quite as colourful but still exotic were a pair of Red-crested Pochard at Longham (#183)
House Martin at Longham (#184)
A Grey Heron catches a newt sp. at Longham. The Mallard thought it was hilarious.
And another almost forgotten photo year tick - Cetti's Warbler at Swineham on Saturday (#185) 
Oh, and in equally inconsequential news, today I finally passed the minor landmark of 100,000 all time page views on this blog. It's taken a while, so to the small but loyal band of readers who check in from time to time, thank you for bothering, it makes the effort worthwhile. I hope reading it provides as welcome a distraction from the harrowing realities of existence as does writing it.


  1. I enjoy your blog very much, Peter, apologies for not commenting often. You often make me smile with your writing and self-deprecating humour and I love your photos. And your OH must be a saint :-)

    1. Thank you, and no need to apologise. I will pass your final comment on to St Claire, I am sure she would agree.