Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 261 - Mallard

For what amounts to the first half of my life, the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) was the basic and fundamental duck.  I fed them bread and cursed them as they stole the bait I intended for carp and tench.  They were 'the duck'.  All other ducks were measured and identified by their difference to the Mallard.

When I moved to Australia, all that changed.  Mallard were an introduced species, a plague duck, that was a treat to the native ducks like Pacific Black Duck, possibly the closest relation to Mallard in Australia.

So, when I was back in the UK it was nice to see some of these birds in their native state - although I remain unconvinced that there is not a touch of the 'farm yard' in some of these individuals.

The first set of picture were taken through the "duck door" of our bed and breakfast boat in Oxford, the second set were taken at Esthwaite Water in Cumbria.

Maybe these are not the most exotic birds in the world, but I think that if there were less common they would be almost everybody's favourite.







The following pictures are from Esthwaite Water.





With luck, normal service will resume this week - assuming that there have been no catastrophic problems at work!!

As ever, click the blue button below the thumbnails to join in with WBW.  SM



24 comments:

Brian King said...

Beautiful photos! Mallards are very common here so often overlooked, but they're gorgeous in full plumage.

Sharon Wagner said...

There is uncommon beauty in all birds, even the common ones.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

In south Florida we see few Mallards, though there is evidence of their genes mixed in with its close relative the Mottled Duck. There are even alleged to be some odd hybrids of Mallard and Muscovy. Those two species are rather distantly related and I suspect the hand of the aviculturist in such instance. At this time of the year in Illinois they are molting and entering the "eclipse" plumage stage with the drakes more closely resembling the hens.

Rhodesia said...

They are pretty birds, we are inclined I think, to take them for granted. Love the chicks they are so cute. Cheers Diane

Margaret Adamson said...

Well Common or not, I still like and photograph MAllard and your photos are very good. Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful week ahead Stewart

Phil Slade said...

I think you're right Stewart. It's the bird most neglected by birders. The Mallard is also the classic "farmyard duck" and the bird most likely to confuse budding birders.

Jo said...

Hi Stewart, to me they are very exotic and beautiful. You have captured them in all the stages and genders! They're also an introduced species to South Africa but not so common. Thanks for sharing and for hosting this meme. I'll link up tomorrow (Wednesday). Greetings Jo

NatureFootstep said...

teh Mallards seem to have a problem this year. So far I have only seen one group of ducklings. Seems to be a disaster. :(

Findlay Wilde said...

When the light shines on the males, it takes quite a lot to beat those colours. I hope you trip over here was fantastic. I am in Wales at the moment for the start of the Summer holidays, and then heading to Portugal for a while.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Stewart!:) Lovely shots of the Mallard, and chicks. They are beautiful ducks, and I also like to take photos of them. I can imagine you having fun in the boat, and wonder what more is in store.:)

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

They are definitely beauties. Why do all baby ducks look alike? Cuter than snot. (an great American expression)

Nora said...

We have so many mallards here but I love the colors on them in the sunshine and love to see the babies. I hope you had a wonderful time.

A Colorful World said...

I think many of us think of Mallard when they think "duck" too. They are the ones were are most familiar with, and I just loved seeing these photos of a bird we grew up with and enjoyed for so long. Seeing the shots of the young baby ducks too, are so sweet. Glad you were able to enjoy them in their origins again.

Gordon said...

We now they are one of our commonest birds Stewart, but yiu have to hand it to the male he is very smart.
All the best, Gordon.

Linda W. said...

Your duckling photos are adorable!

Missy George said...

Beautiful pictures of my favorite Duck..I had a pair that were considered members of the family..

Missy George said...

I just linked up a really old post of my Quackers..They nested by my pond for seven years and presented me with many happy moments..I miss them..

Linda said...

Beautiful ducks! We've seen three or four sets of mallard ducklings this year. So cute!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I agree with the last sentence ... they really are lovely ducks. It's not good for us to become so jaded that we fail to appreciate the joys of the ordinary day (or duck).

Andrea Priebe said...

The Mallard is common everywhere in the US and yet it is still a favorite. My little Mallard couple has been coming to my Yum Yum tree for years through thick and thin, sometimes bringing a string of little yellow and brown bundles with them. These are wonderful pictures, Stewart.
I don't know if my absence this week was as noticeable to you as it seems to me. I think I am getting too old to be a good birder. I walk in the nature centers and I hear birds everywhere, but can't find them in the trees. And, on the occasion I do find them, I then can't find them in my viewfinder to take their picture. So this week, short of re-posting old pictures, I came up empty handed. Fear not, though, I haven't given up and will continue my search for our fine feathered friends. Glad you are home safe and sound. Your trip sounded wonderful ... I am a tad jealous, but very happy for you.

Andrea @ From The Sol

Ranten said...

I love this birds! They are beautiful and frendly and I have nown them sins I was a kid! Have you mixst the number at the headline? Happy weekend!

Dave Lewis said...

I must admit that they are beautiful birds. I especially like the ones with "questionable" lineage...they have the most unique patterns.

Breathtaking said...

How inconsiderate!! Good one!:=)

Pat Tillett said...

I've always loved Mallards.
I love to sit down and just watch them.
Nice photos Stewart!