I returned to Lacock on Wednesday for yet another attempt at getting a decent heron shot down by the River Avon. I had already called at Reybridge where they were often to be seen last year, but there was nothing there apart from a couple of mallard.
I went back to the spot by Lacock Bridge where I have recently seen heron on three occasions (and a kingfisher on one) but again the river was desolate. There was one lone duck and that was it. There were no swans about either, unlike last year when you could guarantee sight of at least one or two, and some cygnets.
On the other side of the bridge a herd of cattle were grazing at the edge of a dried-up subsidiary stream, so I at least got some shots of those, including this one, affectionately known as 502032.
Note: The solitary duck didn't look quite like a regular mallard so I consulted the Spotlight Kid, who writes, "My first thought was mottled duck anas fulvigula of Texas and Florida, but looking through wildfowl of the world also threw up Meller's duck anas melleri endemic to Madagascar, which I'm not familiar with. Both are closely related to the mallard - there are many variants worldwide, all basically like female mallards, in varying shades of dark and brown, but as far as I can see these are the only two this pale.
"Interestingly, none of the worldwide look-alike variants have the distinctive bright plumage of the male mallard - they all look like female mallards rather than male ones.
"In conclusion it is either an escaped mottled duck or Meller's duck; or an abnormally plumaged mallard with some domesticated genes."
Lens: Sigma 70-300mm
Consecutive Blip #442
One Year Ago: Water Colour