Tag Archives: muscovy duck

Signs of Summer

It still feels chilly, but there are promising signs of summer all about.

There are young rabbits, out in the fields and in the seclusion of the local churchyard. This family actually lives under the church at Falmer.

family of rabbits

The moorhen chicks are venturing further afield, and are now happily exploring the banks of the pond. They still pause every now to eat, which keeps the adults occupied as they maintain a watchful eye over their hungry brood.

Moorhen chick

There are other signs as well, most obviously the welcome arrival of two migrant species: house martins and swallows. The swifts cannot be far behind.

The house martins are already repairing – and preparing – their nests.

House martin in nest

The swallows are are also busy, but in their case it seems to be food that is the initial priority.

Swallows flying over Falmer Pond

Swallows flying over Falmer Pond

Swallows flying over Falmer Pond

One piece of uncertain news. The female Muscovy duck hasn’t been seen for a week or so. The male is still around and seems perfectly content as you can see here. He was waiting for the visitors with food to arrive! The female may be hidden away on the island in the centre of Falmer pond, but it’s possible she’s fallen prey to one of the various predators. The smaller of the white ducks is also missing. 🙁

Male Muscovy duck on gate

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Posted in Birds, rabbit, water birds Also tagged , , , |

Dapper Duck Special

It was almost a beutiful day today. There was lots of sunshine, marred only by a few sharp showers that passed over quickly (though I did manage to get caught in one at lunchtime). The morning though was dry, and bright.

Down at Falmer Pond, the greylags were honking, and I watched pair come in to land on the water.

Greylag geese
Note the rather dapper duck in the background. He’s the Muscovy drake, and a fine looking duck if ever there was one. He’s taken a fancy to the park bench and commandeers it most mornings.

Muscovy duck on bench

Meanwhile the female Muscovy prefers the leafy fringes around the church. Here she is on the wall by the entrance.

Muscovy duck on wall

She then headed towards the ivy and eventually disappeared through the hedge into a neighbouring garden.

Muscovy duck on wall

One more of the drake. A face like this simply demands a portrait.

Muscovy duck portrait

That’s what I call a dapper duck!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Posted in water birds

Inelegant in Flight (Muscovy)

Yesterday’s sun was a blip. Overcast once again today, and the pond is full to the brim.

No Fishing sign in flooded pond at Falmer

The main sequence is the Muscovy drake, coming in to land having flown the length of the pond. He had spotted one of the locals who arrive regularly to feed the ducks in the morning and was anxious to make sure he didn’t miss out on any grub. Muscovy ducks are surprisingly good in the air (flight seems a near impossible feat when you watch them waddle on the ground), but they are a touch inelegant, especially when they realize it’s time to touch down again. These are four consecutive shots taken over around half a second.

Muscovy duck (male/drake) in flight

Muscovy duck (male/drake) in flight

Muscovy duck (male/drake) in flight

Muscovy duck (male/drake) in flight

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Posted in water birds