The temperature was well below zero and it was freezing cold on the day that I decided to visit my local reserve and as you will notice from some of these shots the lake where these birds had gathered was partly frozen, despite being bitterly cold the sun kept coming and going throughout the day but these ducks thought nothing of it, so here is a collection of shots that were taken at the end of a long day as the sun finally dropped below some clouds and was at last free to cast a beautiful golden glow across this lake. First up is a wonderful little bird the Teal (also known as Common or Eurasian Teal) this female Teal waddled along the ice making her way to a section that had melted so she could go into the water and feed.
Next we have one of my favourite ducks, The Wigeon, this duck has a well-known whistling call – ‘wheeooo’ – I really love the call from this bird and for me it signifies change with the end of Spring and the beginning of Winter as these birds gather in numbers at various lakes across the NW of England, this striking male was strutting and calling to a female on a small patch of the lake that had not frozen.
And finally but by no means least we have the Shoveler, I love photographing these birds with their large spatula bills, males have dark green heads with white breasts and chestnut flanks whilst Females are a mottled brown. The UK is home to more than 20% of the NW European population, making it an Amber List species here in the UK. This first image shows a male Shoveler during eclipse mode (moulting)