“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
As today is World Kindness Day what better way to spend the morning than to spread a little kindness myself by feeding the local bird population.
I have a particular affection for the mallard ducks. Having lived beside the harbour for several years now and feeding the flock a couple of times a week, many of the ducks are now very familiar with me and as a result reward me with wonderful close up encounters and the ability to observe their lives in intimate detail. You can read about some of these moments here.
This morning quite unusually there was only a single solitary pair of mallards down on the harbour, the rest of the flock out of sight upriver. With no competition to contend with this pair needed little encouragement and waddled over eagerly for a handful of seed.
With the moult now over, this mallard drake was looking splendid, his emerald green head dazzling in the sunshine.
Mallard drake with stunning iridescent green head
I try not to feed the birds here too often so that they do not become too dependent on this food. My supplementary feeding simply supplies them with vital extra calories which are particularly vital during the stresses of the breeding season and the cold winter months when natural food becomes scarcer.
It wasn’t long before more keen eyed birds appeared, lining up along the wall eager for their own share of the handouts. It looks like I’m going to need more food…
A pair of pigeons with rather charming white eye stripes
How are you spending #WorldKindnessDay ?
All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography ©