Watch the birdie

The sight of a duckling never fails to excite me, but they are insanely difficult to get a decent photo of. Especially if we see them whilst we are cruising, the brood invariably gets separated on either side of the boat and then they bob around like dodgem cars cheeping like teenagers at a pop concert until they are reunited once the boat has passed. 

And sadly ducks aren’t blessed with the best parenting skills, which is probably a good thing if every brood of 12 reached maturity. It’s heart breaking seeing a vulnerable lone duckling without it’s family to protect it. And ducks get a whiff of a crust coming in their direction the drakes get first pick. (we feed the ducks on porridge oats because too much bread isn’t good for them)

Swans on the other hand, parent as a couple, one watches the cygnets whilst the other keeps watch or danger, leading them to food and waiting until the cygnets have had their fill before they take their turn

In this case he was worried I wanted to take more than a photo.

Perhaps mum was looking for sharks…

Moorhens often keep their chicks close to the nest or bank. Searching for food seems to be a priority which they take back to feed their young.

We were lucky to be moored right opposite this nest where there were 5 chicks playing amongst the reeds. At one point we had a three bird roast on offer, swans ducks and moorhens in one shot.

I think Hans Christen Anderson got it wrong when he wrote about the ugly duckling, he had obviously never met a moorhen’s chick. Cute but not beautiful.

We saw a barn owl and an young owl, fledged and flying, but as it was dusk didn’t manage a photo. And there’s quite a few kestral and buzzard up above. Probably on the look out for lone ducklings.

I’d like to see a young heron, but although they were plentiful on the Macclesfield canal last spring, we don’t seem to be seeing so many herons further south. And the same with Canada geese although many will say that’s an advantage.

This green woodpecker had obviously found a good supply of grubs in the field opposite our mooring. We see quite a few woodpeckers, and hear quite a few more when they’re pecking a tree trunk.

We’ve seen all these birds in the past fortnight, kingfishers as still proving elusive.