Fight or flight

It’s now mid May and for many birds the breeding season is now in full swing. Down in the harbour waters of ‘the Gap’ the mallard ducks have already begun to pair up, however as is common among many duck species, males outnumber females quite considerably. For those that are unsuccessful in winning a mate…

Transition period

As we wave goodbye to summer and the cooler days of autumn draw in, many birds appear to disappear and the skies fall silent. The reason for the sudden absence is that many of our birds are now keeping a low profile, hiding away whilst they go through their annual moult and grow new feathers…

World Kindness Day

“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…

WWT Llanelli: Close encounters

Llanelli Wetland Centre offers a unique experience to get up close and personal with many of it’s residents, including many rare and endangered species. With most of the birds here very tame and approachable the centre provides the opportunity to hand feed it’s ducks and geese with bags of seed supplied by the visitor centre….

WWT Llanelli: Ducks

A couple of weeks ago we took a visit to the WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre in south Wales. Unfortunately the weather, which had promised to be warm and sunny, was replaced with gloomy overcast skies and drizzle. The conditions made photography challenging at times but I was determined not to let this dampened my spirits….

Spring fever

As spring fever grips the country, here in Aberystwyth the mallard population have kicked off their breeding season with a bout of enthusiastic courtship displays. The purpose of such behaviour is for the males to demonstrate their health and desirability as a mate, and for the females to choose the best fathers for their offspring….

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…

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…

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…