Sunday, 10 January 2010

Shovel It!

Trudging through the snow as we walked around the lakes this morning, we were surprised to see some 'foreigners' swimming around in the small sections of ice-free water. Three or four pairs of Shovelers (Anas clypeata) were 'shoveling' around the water in search of anything to eat.
Not a rare species of duck, but not usually easy to see as they are very shy birds, which is why these pictures are a little 'distant'.
Rather beautiful and colourful, the males stand out amid the other swimmers, the females however, are more drab and resemble female Mallards - until you get to the bill, which is enormous for the size of the bird, making it look very front-heavy.
It's wonderful to see these little beauties, but it shows how harsh the winter is as they have obviously been forced to move about in search of feeding sites. Nice that they chose our local lakes.
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