DUCKS

DUCKS & WATERFOWL

RINGED TEAL PREENING

This sequence shows a pair of Ringed Teal preening in late autumn sunshine. The series of images shows the movements of both birds and the marked variations in the colouring of the male over a few minutes. At one stage the vivid green sheen of the wings gave way to dark blue. I was also trying to use the water behind them to create an impressionistic effect, which has worked in a way.

Ringed Teal pair WWT 1Ringed Teal pair WWT 2Ringed Teal pair WWT 3Ringed Teal pair WWT 4Ringed Teal pair WWT 6Ringed Teal pair WWT 7Ringed Teal pair WWT 9Ringed Teal pair WWT 10Ringed Teal pair WWT 11

COOT FEET IN CLOSE-UP: GO COMPARE WITH A MOORHEN

 My last post was a short video of coots at WWT Barnes feeding weed to their young, something I hadn’t seen before. Last weekend we had our 2-year old granddaughter to stay and took her to Ravenscourt Park (West London) to look at squirrels, ducks and a lot of manky feral pigeons. There were coots on a nest in the middle of the lake; and there were more strutting round on the grass. I don’t think I have ever bothered to notice the peculiarities of a coot’s foot before. To many people, myself included, a coot is mainly a moorhen with a white beak arrangement instead of a red one. So take a look at a foot comparison. Double-click for a detailed view, especially the close-up #3.

Coot (showing feet), Ravenscourt Park LondonCoot (showing feet), Ravenscourt Park LondonCoot Feet Close-up, Ravenscourt Park London

Here’s a Moorhen’s feet for comparison – completely different structurallyMoorhen_feet Mehmet Kartuk Wikijpg

TUFTED DUCKS ON WIMBLEDON COMMON LAKE

A family walk, a new place to explore (notwithstanding that we’ve lived within 5 miles of it for 35 years… ), and a small point & shoot camera. I took advice from the youngest member of the party and snapped these tufted ducks. I was lucky with the light on the water. In the last one I happened to point the camera in the right place just as it surfaced from a dive. No wonder it looks a bit surprised…

Tufted Duck Wimbledon Common 1Tufted Duck Wimbledon Common 3Tufted Duck Wimbledon Common 2Tufted Duck Wimbledon Common 4

COMB / KNOB-BILLED DUCKS (Sarkidiornis melanotos)

1. The male, with the characteristic prominent knob on its head Knob-billed Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos), or Comb Duck 1Knob-billed Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos), or Comb Duck 2

2. The female comb-duck. Both sexes have wonderfully coloured feathers, though the females are less brightComb Duck (female) 1Comb Duck (female) 2

COMMON GOLDENEYE DUCKS

Photos taken on a bright November morning, with the sun high after a frosty night

A WHITE DUCKLING AND HIS ADOPTIVE FAMILY – OXFORDSHIRE

This duckling struggled to keep up with the rest of the family in a rain-swollen current.  He soon got the hang of it and was able to lead the troop…

DUCKS – OR ARE THEY GEESE – WITH LARGE PINK FEET 

MUSCOVY DUCKS – THE MATING GAME

This is going to be a bit awkward for me. And for you. We are all going to have to be very adult about this. If you are sensitive about discussing… intimacies, then look away now. Because we are going to have to confront the facts with courage and fortitude. Ducks have sex. Oh, you didn’t quite catch that? They have SexSEX. SEX. Let’s call it something less.. well, I think mating is the correct word, although given the fact that the female suffers total submersion during the proceedings, ‘ducking’ would not be wholly out of place…

Muscovy ducks turn out to be very interesting in this area. A quick piece of research about them unearthed this unbeatable wiki-nugget of anatidaean life: “Male Muscovy Ducks have spiralled penises which can become erect to 20 cm in one third of a second. Females have cloacas that spiral in the opposite direction to try to limit forced copulation by males”. 

SPRINGTIME. I THINK IT’S TIME TO FIND MYSELF… A LADY FRIEND

OH MY GOODNESS. THAT “1/3 OF A SECOND THING” IS STARTING TO HAPPEN…

QUICK. AH. THERE’S ONE. SHE LOOKS NICE. LET’S SEE HOW THINGS DEVELOP.

YAY! I ENJOYED THAT

ME TOO… I THINK      

YES, ALL OK NOW        

WHITE HEADED DUCKS AT WWT BARNES

THREE SPECIES OF REDDISH DUCK AT WWT BARNES

1. RED CRESTED POCHARDS 

2. FERRUGINOUS DUCKS 

3. WHITE FACED WHISTLING DUCKS 

THESE TWO WERE LITERALLY ‘NECKING’ FOR ABOUT A MINUTE…

DUCKS AT WWT BARNES FEB 2012

1. TUFTED DUCKS

FEMALE TUFTED DUCK – in many ways this is my favourite photo of the day. None of these photos has been modified, so the water is just as it was

2. MARBLED TEAL

3. CAPE TEAL

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