Water wings I

Today was yet another superb day on the Welsh coast, with bright azure skies creating beautiful reflections down on the harbour water at home in Aberystwyth. Whilst I had been hoping to capture more images of the mallard courtship displays it seems the ducks were not in a flirtatious mood and most of the females…

Capturing the moment

For our familiar mallard ducks the breeding season starts early, long before the welcome warmth of spring arrives to take the chill off the land. As early as October they begin to pair up, the males displaying enthusiastically despite the driving rain and freezing winds. Today on a relatively warm and sunny day in February…

Eclipse plumage

In the blink of an eye, our summer appears to be over, the hot dry weather making way for the cooler temperatures and moody autumn skies. With the departure of summer the breeding season is now over for most birds, this years young already raised to independence, and attention once again falls to the adults…

Stuck in the mud

Photography isn’t always glamorous, in fact if you are a nature enthusiast as I am you will often find yourself sat out in very comfortable situations whether it be freezing cold temperatures, traipsing through mud or knee deep in nettles. Today was one such day as I explored the tidal mud flat down in the…

Three’s company

With Autumn now in full swing, mallards are turning their attention to finding a mate for the breeding season ahead. Whilst these ducks are usually monogamous, it would appear the mallards here in Aberystwyth have decided to do things a little differently. One particular female appears to have paired up with two males, something almost…

Wearing thin

After an unsuccessful breeding season for the Aberystwyth mallards, now is the time for them to moult, and replace their now worn out breeding feathers for a fresh new look. At this time of year the usually fairly dispersed population gathers together in a large flock of around 20-25 birds, and they spend the majority…

Fight for survival

Sadly it seems that the failure of last year’s mallard ducklings to survive is set to repeat for a second year. Just a day after the ducklings left the safety of their nest before my very eyes (see here), only one duckling remains at it’s mothers side. The others were most likely predated by the…

Baby boom!

It’s 1st of June, also the first day of meteorological summer and it seems that today is the day for a baby boom! Almost exactly a year to the date from the arrival of last year’s cygnets, this summer the Mute Swan pair have successful hatched five tiny babies. Hopefully this bigger brood will increase…

Marauding Mallards

With the Mallard breeding season in full swing it appears that most of the birds have already formed their pairs and begun to disperse and nest out of harms way. A few solitary birds remain and gather in small flocks consisting of unattached drakes, eager to mate with any stray females who might cross their…

Hard times for wildfowl

It appears the breeding season hasn’t yet come to an end for at least one of our local mallard females as she surprised me last week by turning up with four fluffy ducklings in her wake. The youngsters could not have hatched more than a day or so ago as most, if not all still…