Growing pains

This summer I enjoyed one of the most rewarding encounters with some of my favourite birds, the often underappreciated mallard ducks. The journey began with a chance encounter with a newly hatched brood of eight mallard ducklings… I first encountered the ducklings at just a few hours old when they were tiny and extremely vulnerable….

New arrivals

With autumn just around the corner and the mallard drakes of Aberystwyth harbour already moulting into their eclipse plumage signalling the end of the breeding season, it looked as though I had missed the opportunity to meet any ducklings this year. It was therefore a very pleasant surprise last week to stumble across a brand…

Wildfowl Wednesday

Wednesday 8th April: Isolation Day 17 We are now mid way through our third week of social distancing and fortunately I am still finding ways to keep occupied and stay in touch with nature in between working from home. The government guidance means no more photo trips away from home so I am spending all…

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….

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…

An enduring friendship

A familiar face has returned to Aberystwyth harbour after dissapearing shortly before the mute swan hatchlings emerged from their nest. Now that the surviving cygnet is 4 months old and almost as large as it’s parents, the lone Canada Goose has returned and has been accepted back into to his unusual flock. Quite why this…

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…