Captain Corelli’s Mandarin

You wait for ages for a bird to come along… and you see it on three outings running.

A lunch-time walk along the River Wey in Send, a trip to Warnham Nature Reserve and a saunter through the unimaginatively named Horsham Park, which is, unsurprisingly, a park in Horsham, all brought with them sightings of Mandarin Ducks.  They are always a treat to see, as the drakes (that’s the man) are probably Britain’s most strikingly colourful ducks.

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Some dubious in-depth research has unearthed the following facts about Mandarin Ducks:

  • Duck in Mandarin is 鴨子(yāzi).
  • They are not to be confused with Peking Duck – which is #88 on the menu at the Beijing Restaurant in Horsell.
  • Originating in Asia, the feral populations found in the wild in the UK have descended from escapees from private ornamental collections.  I guess it’s bit like Chicken Run… but without Mel Gibson… or chicken pies… or, indeed chickens…  So, in actual fact, nothing like Chicken Run.
  • Apparently, they taste horrible!
  • This is quite a food-obsessed list.
Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

I also unexpectedly spied a pair of Goosander on the River Wey during a different lunch-time wander, taking my total for the year to a semi-whopping 102 bird species.  I don’t have any Goosander facts to hand, which, I’m sure doesn’t disappoint you!

Goosey Goosey Goosander

Goosey Goosey Goosander

And in other news…

In order to try and avoid this blog becoming a little too uni-dimensional in a bird-centric way, I proudly announce the launch of Fauna Corner*

* Whilst not, strictly speaking, in a corner, I think you’ll agree that ‘Fauna Corner’ sounds a bit more snappy than ‘A Section About Various Animals (Not Birds) That Finds Itself at the Bottom of the Page on Occasional Blog Posts’

Those cynics among you will think that its introduction is solely due to me not seeing many new birds each week and wanting to fill space.  Shame on you!

So, here we go…  Welcome to Fauna Corner #1 (Apologies if I’ve misidentified any of the animals – I welcome all corrections)

Field Vole...  Or Mini-Beaver

Field Vole… Or Mini-Beaver

Grey Squirrel - Confused after someone cemented over his acorn stash

Grey Squirrel – Confused after someone cemented over his acorn stash

Oh dear, it's a Roe Deer

Oh dear, it’s a Roe Deer

Common Frog - Scoring a big fat zero in a game of 'Pass The Frogs'

Common Frog – Scoring a big fat zero in a game of ‘Pass The Frogs’

Common Lizard

Common Lizard

Grey Squirrel - Literally squirreled away!

Grey Squirrel – Literally squirreled away!

 See you next time…  Thank you for reading.


About mixaeljones

Hello! I try to undertake a yearly challenge and write about it in a semi-witty manner. I often use twenty words when three will do. I am also a big fan of terrible puns and taking unintentionally blurry photographs of wildlife. In 2013 I tried to eat a food I hadn't eaten before each week (I got to 28!), in 2014 I attempted to seek out as many species of bird as I could in the year (I got to 201!) and in 2015 I delved head first into the world of butterflies and tried to see as many different types as possible (44!)... I've also done some belly dancing, been Father Christmas and nearly played tennis against Bjorn Borg. If any of this seems like it might be of interest, feel free to check out my blogs... Comments encouraged! Have a nice day :)
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