Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 216 - Mallard

For what amounts to the first half of my life, the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) was the basic and fundamental duck.  I fed them bread and cursed them as they stole the bait I intended for carp and tench.  They were 'the duck'.  All other ducks were measured and identified by their difference to the Mallard.

When I moved to Australia, all that changed.  Mallard were an introduced species, a plague duck, that was a treat to the native ducks like Pacific Black Duck, possibly the closest relation to Mallard in Australia.

So, when I was back in the UK it was nice to see some of these birds in their native state - although I remain unconvinced that there is not a touch of the 'farm yard' in some of these individuals.

The first set of picture were taken through the "duck door" of our bed and breakfast boat in Oxford, the second set were taken at Esthwaite Water in Cumbria.

Maybe these are not the most exotic birds in the world, but I think that if there were less common they would be almost everybody's favourite.

The following pictures are from Esthwaite Water.

With luck, normal service will resume this week - assuming that there have been no catastrophic problems at work!!

As ever, click the blue button below the thumbnails to join in with WBW.  SM

Tuesday, 25 July 2017


This time yesterday I was in a plane somewhere between Zurich and Singapore.  Physically I am now at home, but chronologically I am in another time zone.

My month away started in Oxford in the UK, with a few days on a (stationary) long boat - while I enjoyed this experience, I'm not sure it was the best way to overcome the inevitable tiredness of a flight from Australia.

The view from the 'duck door' (a large side door in the boat) more or less made up for the lack of space.  I'd really like to do a bit of a journey in one of these old school vessels.

Lots more pictures to follow.

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 260 - Jungle Babbler

I've gone back to my Indian pictures for this week's WBW - this is a Jungle Babbler (Turdoides striata) and I saw this bird at Sultanpur National Park, which must been one of the most productive 'overseas' birding locations I have ever been too.

This bird gathers in small flocks, and the translation of one of its Indian names is Seven Brothers.  They were noisy, active and hard to photograph.

As ever, to join in with WBW click the blue button below the thumbnails.  SM

Monday, 17 July 2017

A New View

Greetings - some of you may have noticed I have been a bit slow to reply to comments and such like for the last couple of weeks.  I assume that you will have worked out that I am out and about on a bit of an adventure.

At present I am in Grindelwald in Switzerland - with a glass of local wine, watching the clouds lens in and out over the Eiger. Sometimes you just have to take a hit for the team!

This is the view from my new (but temporary) back door!

I may remain a little distracted for a while - but normal service will resume soon!  

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM