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.
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.
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!
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)
See you next time… Thank you for reading.