Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.


Mallard are probably Britain’s most well known and loved ducks. They are found swimming and waddling on most of our waterways and lakes and are extremely social and friendly apart from one or two that are shy and always remain a discrete distance from humans. The drake is beautifully coloured and has a dark green almost iridescent head. The call of the female mallard is a very loud ‘quack’ – similar to a farmyard duck but the brightly coloured male has a weaker, softer but higher pitched call that can sound more like a squashed ‘queck querk’ some even make the noise of a faint horn ‘quarrk.’

In early Autumn several males will fly after a female and then swim round and around her displaying themselves for her to make a choice. This gentle courtship becomes more wild and rough as the season progresses and eventually males force themselves onto females in what could be described as bird ‘rapes.’ The ducks pair off early in the year and will fly to their breeding grounds …

Mallard group

Mallard female or duck

Mallard young drake 

Mallard ducks and drakes with Canada goose Mallard


Little note: the male bird is called the drake and the female the duck. The young are able to fly before they reach the age of seven weeks. They often can be seen dabbling (up-tailing) to get their food.

‘Ducks Ditty’ from Wind in the Willows

All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all!

Ducks' tails, drakes' tails,
Yellow feet a-quiver,
Yellow bills all out of sight
Busy in the river! "

Slushy green undergrowth,

Where the roach swim—
Here we keep our larder,

Cool and full and dim.

Everyone for what he likes!

We like to be
Heads down, tails up,

Dabbling free!

High in the blue above,

Swifts whirl and call—
We are down a-dabbling,

Up tails all!

written by Kenneth Grahame


Ann said...

Even though the mallard is more colorful than the duck, she is also very pretty in her own way. Bird rape huh? very interesting. So does that prove that no matter what the spcies is "men will be men"?...lol

Me said...

Argh.. I miss this duck. Always took pictures of them when we were in Europe. We don't have it here.

My Children N Me

storybeader said...

I love ducks - they're so cute! They look like they're just gliding along, but underneath the water, they're just paddling away! {:-D

Jan from BetterSpines said...

I love "The Wind in the Willows". Superb imagery. And I just love the word "waddling" - it's so evocative of that specific movement of feet and bum.