Monday 27 January 2014

Unusual Ducks Ahoy!

I'm relishing walking rather than running at the moment, you get to see so much more...but then I feel guilty about not exercising properly, so when I'm on form again, I shall be walking AND running around.

Today was crocus hunt day in the cemtery, and as you can see below, I was rewarded by the sight of a single, rather pathetic specimen poking up dejectedly into the cold, sunless morning. The snowdrops are really coming into their own at the moment, and there is more (I think) cherry blossom on the trees - and more on the ground, where the wild winds have shredded it.

I was also hoping to see something unusual on the Balderton Lake, colder snaps being the best time to see more interesting birds than mallards and canada geese on the waters.

The first thing I noticed initially was that the male great crested grebes have put on their breeding colours - the tan red flashes on their ruffs were very prominent at a distance. The moorhens are getting feisty. But it was some handsome black and white ducks in the distance which really caught my eye. Three male goosander, and a chestnut headed female, were on the water, and that was not the last of it. Further round the lake were some unfamiliar ducks, silver grey and white, with a red-brown head. I had to confirm my suspicions on the net, but they were correct - I was looking at two male pochard, with a much darker female in tow. This is a new species for me to see on the lake, and I was excited to record it.

My walk was happily rounded off by a close up view of some long tailed tits on the pollarded willows at the water's edge on London Road Lake. They really are quite unafraid of humans, and allow quite a close approach to see their featherweight acrobatic antics on the twigs.

It took my mind off the tedious shopping I was about to have to do.

Cemtery blossom
More life and death
Snowdrop close up
Great crested grebe in the distance
Hide and seek with coots and moorhens

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