Aqualate - 22 Dec 16

A fine afternoon ahead of the promised stormy period tempted me to Aqualate where I captured:

A duck Mallard starts to flap after a spell of preening: here we see the blue speculum.

Maximum flap and the speculum ‘disappears’, no longer catching the light.

Quite a different shade of blue to my eyes as the wings close.

Later I had another go to show not only the speculum – gleaming here – but also the brown-edged back feathers and, the less-often seen, tail pattern.

The first in a trio of ‘not quite’ adult drake Shoveler.

This has a more obvious vertical white area in front of the bill.

This also has a rather obvious vertical white area in front of the bill but less green on the head.

This is what they all aspire to become.

This Little Grebe is very much in non-breeding plumage with not a hint of breeding colour.

(Ed Wilson)