Tuesday, 2 December 2014

My Personal Favourite Duck

Every British birdwatcher has a favourite duck. Anyone who has seen Spring/Autumnwatch with Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games arguing about whether the drake Pintail or drake Smew is the prettiest and most elegant of all the ducks, and any young birdwatcher who has ever pored over the pages of their new bird book knows it. In Britain they are some of our most colourful species, and a lot of the most colourful species are easy for even a beginner to see. When I was young my favourite was the drake Tufted Duck, with his striking black-and-white plumage, purple-sheened head and adorable tuft on the back of his head. Then for ages I loved the Smew. Now my favourite is another sawbill-the fantastic Red-breasted Merganser. I saw a sizeable flock of them a few weeks ago and felt inspired to write about them! Especially as my camera is broken so I can't photograph fungi any more. :( What terrible timing, right in peak fungi season!