A tip off from Robert, the estate head gardener, about an unusual duck on the pond the last few days, sent me along there this evening to see what was what. I half expected a dodgy 'call duck hybrid' or something but was pleased to find a nice drake Shoveler loafing around the lillies.
This is only my 4th since 2009 here with 2 being on the pond and one with other ducks on a seawatch, so it is a nice record and addition to the Patch Challenge list.
Unusually, he was paying some attention to a female Mallard and her ducklings, head nodding and grunting at her. He even chased off a drake Mallard that ventured too near to his new mate...I dont think the ducklings are his? But who knows maybe she came from another patch after mating...lets wait and see...