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!
from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Falcated Ducks are dabblers, eating mostly vegetation and small insects close to the surface of the water rather than diving to the bottom for food.
The male bird is unmistakable with its vermiculated grey plumage
and its striking green collar and brown crown.
They are so named for the sickle-shaped, black and white inner wing feathers of the male, that are said to resemble the shape of a falcon’s beak. These wetland birds are on the near-threatened list. They are hunted as much as for their plumage as they are for food.
The photos were taken yesterday at Martin Mere Wetland Centre.