Posted: 23 February 2022
I began the month by signing up with BBC Weather Watchers. It's become my habit to pick up my phone before I open the curtains and take whatever I see out of the window. The photograph that I took for this morning's report was taken at 07:51.
After I'd showered and dressed, I looked out of the window again and saw a great gathering of ducks, most of which are not Mallard, but Tufted or Diving Ducks. They have the most penetrating yellow eyes. Males have pronounced white flanks while the females only have a smaller white patch near the tail.
They're difficult to count because, as their alternative name implies, when feeding they constantly dive disappearing below the surface for around 20 seconds or so and you can't always be sure that the bird you saw rise was the same one that disappeared a while earlier. If you're only used to Mallard, then they are great fun to watch, especially in larger groups like this.
I know this is the first time I have recorded them on the site. But I also know I have photographed them before in previous years. Over the last few years there has been a period of between a fortnight and a month while a group of this size has appeared to have become resident on the lake. No doubt all will be revealed when I manage to work through my backlog of photographs and begin adding them to the site.