Julie suggested I showed what our visiting Shoveller ducks looked like, which was when I realised I didn’t have a decent picture of one. I have taken a few now.
Well, all year round, you will see Mallard and Tufted Duck. Like most ducks, the males have distinctive plumage but the females are brown and camouflaged. Mallards upend to feed; Tufties dive. Top pictures: male and female Mallard; bottom pictures: male and female Tuftie.
In the winter, we have Goosanders visiting from time to time. They are long and sleek and hunt fish. There is a photo on an earlier blog. We have also had Shovellers – sometimes half a dozen, sometimes just a pair. They have big shovel-beaks, chestnut sides and white breasts. Male and female shown here. Soon the winter visitors will vanish, as will the Redwings in the park. The dawn chorus is already on the increase as the songbirds build up for the breeding season.