Saturday, 21 May 2016

Swan, Gull and Duck Scrum

We visited St Ives in Cambridgeshire a few weeks ago and while we were standing on the bridge which spans the Great Ouse we were watching the various Swans, Gulls and Ducks that were there.

There were a few young Mute Swans, with their grey/brown plumage, grey bills and developing black knob on the top of their beaks.

There was one lone Coot, with it's white facial shield, bill and red eyes, pecking away at anything edible on the surface of the river.

There was a large flock of Black Headed Gulls riding the small current, some of them already showing signs of their breeding plumage, prior to the brown/black hood, they have a dark spot behind their eye, as seen in the pictures below.

Their beaks also become redder as their breeding plumage develops but they always have a black end to their beaks.

Their were several adult Mute Swans gracefully gliding along.

When I asked if anybody knew what type of Duck this was, I was amazed at the response of 'Magpie', but sure enough there is a breed of  Domestic Duck called Magpie, due to the colouration being like a Mapgie.  However I think this is more likely a Domestic Mallard, apparently Domestic Mallards were bred with White Ducks to make them more appealing.

There has to be one that wants to stand out 'or sit down' in a crowd.

Another one of the many juvenile swans.

A gathering of Swans, Gulls and Ducks.

They are all getting excited as a family have turned up with some bread for them.

Now this is a first for me seeing Gulls riding on the back of the Swans to get a better view of where the bread is coming from.

Feeding frenzy.

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