Lam Brook in spate
I shan't rely on the standard journalistic stalking-horse of Drought, What Drought? Or, So Where's this Climate Change we get threatened with...
The ducks were here as usual, though only occasionally did they brave the waters in spate. In any event, there was sufficient precipitation in the air that they didn't need to get their feet wet.
Interestingly, there have been two different hen ducks around the last couple of days. The original, rather distinctive black and white bird and a new one the usual colouring. I have no idea whether it is the same drake who is mating with them both or whether they have two different mates but they both display the same behaviour.
They will defend their mates against the bachelor birds who take an interest in them but they will also try to deny them access to the food residents leave out for them. Not that the bachelors appear too interested in the food, even if we leave two separate patches of bread or seeds out for them. They're too interested in the females.
There is also a thieving corvid (a crow, rook or raven?) that helps them-self to the food when possible. Even the dominant drake stands back when that happens. What an interesting pecking order. But they are far more nervous than the ducks, who are used to the humans that feed them. So you only have to open the balcony door and the big black thief flies off, allowing the ducks to resume their feeding.
- Nikon D5000