Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Swans & Shovelers

This morning I came across these 2 Mute Swans struggling valiantly to get through the pipe in the 'water pit' by 'Off the Rails' in order to access the Thorley Brook. With water pouring through on the ebbing tide it took a bit of determination but, with a run up, they got there in the end!

On the flooded Rofford Marsh field there were 36 Shovelers (20 males & 16 females). This photo was taken by one visitor recently showing the striking green head and red-brown chestnut flank of the male, together with the unique beak which gives it its name.

I've been trying to get some decent video, or even a photo, of these fascinating birds but it's not easy as they don't spend a lot of time close to the footpath. The reason I'd like to get some video is to show their feeding action, spinning in tight circles as they sift the water through a large sieve on the sides of the bill. It really is the avian equivalent of the baleen whale! Hopefully we'll get some better photos, and some video, soon!


  1. Good pic of this great looking duck.One of my favourites.

  2. I've just been trying to imagine the local duck species as various kinds of battleships...the chunky Shoveler is the battleship!