I had a surprise yesterday afternoon when I looked out of a window and saw a female mallard on our garden pond.
Although we haven't had visits in the last 2 years, from 2004 until 2008 a pair of mallard regularly visited the pond at this time of the year. The pair which appeared in 2004 stayed around for 9 weeks - one of the neighbours assumed they were pet ducks! My daughter used to feed them with bread daily and they would come waddling up to the back door on a regular basis. I got that worried about their unhealthy diet that I bought a sack of proper duck food which they refused to eat!!
We initially assumed they were looking for a nesting site although there was never any sign of one being made but in subsequent years my husband came to the conclusion that they were visiting the pond to feast on tadpoles.
I couldn't get a photo yesterday as I'd got the wrong lens on the camera and, although I tried to carefully approach the pond, she flew off. So here is a couple of photos we took in 2004. If she or, indeed a pair, return I will try and get some shots of them - the telephoto lens is now back on the camera in readiness!
One other piece of garden news - a wren is taking nesting material into ivy on the patio. I am not sure if it is a male who is making one of several nests for the female to choose one or if it is a female who has made her choice of nest and is making the finishing touches. The female blackbird is still incubating eggs on the nest built in the bamboo.