Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Early Bird



Does your mother know you are out?

Oh so cute

One of two ducklings on the pond in the park, it seems far to early in the year for such things  (hail is hammering against the windows as I write this)

Duckling 1

they were fiercely independent, it was impossible to work out who was the mother duck, but they had got the hang of being fed bread and could hold their own in a feeding frenzy.

Hungry duckling

And they  could swim for England, they looked like they were driven by a couple of powerboat engines (I know it’s a dodgy focus on this shot, but I believe that from a creative perspective, it suggests speed of travel!)

Speedy duck

The old boy watching them with me was equally puzzled by their early appearance, ‘When I first saw it I thought some one had lost their budgie’ he declared. Now I’m looking for blue and green ducklings.

I did spy a drakes nictitating membrane though and we’ve learnt all about those before

Sleepy duck

Stunning colours.

Handsome duck


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

15 thoughts on “Early Bird

  1. These shots are absolutely crystal clear! The reflections in the water, wow, very nearly as sharp as the originals above. Incredible photography … I mean, photographer.

    We are thinking of ‘doing’ ducks here. These little chaps make me more motivated than ever.

  2. Wonderful! They’re far more active, and fluffy, than my Daisy Duck! xx

  3. Y’know, we always say (as it’s true) that your photos are wonderful, but I love the vivid writing in this post, too. The feeding frenzy splashabout made me chuckle and the “couple of powerboat engines” was very apt. image too!

  4. Oops. Meant to delete the “image too!”

  5. Brilliant pics, those ducklings are so gorgeous. I’ve always loved the colours on mallards.

  6. Lovely ducklings!

    It does seem early though, as you say, I’ve not seen any down here yet.

  7. What a wonderful little duck!

    That baby duckling at the top is cute as can be…

  8. How funny to see them after your bread. And I love the sense of motion your photos showed. Very artistic, I’d say!

    • It was the way the front of the duckling came up out of the water when it ‘opened up the throttle’ that made me smile. I think people were trying to help by throwing the bread close to me, but I just ended up surrounded by duck and pigeons that were too close to focus on.

  9. Aww, nothing like a baby duckling or chick. Thats great that they are so independant, maybe because they are early. They have to be hardy to be early season babies. He looks happy getting his bits of bread.

  10. Oh bless – it looks like a cuddly toy in the top picture – these are great shots.

  11. Absolutely adorable duckling ~ and your photos set it off beautifully. I am surprised, too, to see ducklings so early. Yes, beautiful plumage on the mallard’s head! I must check around here because I wouldn’t want to miss them!

  12. The ducklings are so sweet and unbelievably early, hope they don’t get caught out by the cold snap we’re having. The male mallard’s are beautiful especially when the sun shines on their heads and illuminates that fabulous blue-green.

  13. What gorgeous photos and how cute are those ducklings. I am currently incubating some hens eggs and will hopefully get to meet the inhabitants next weekend.
    Good blog, have added you to my blogroll and will enjoy reading about your lifestyle

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