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shelduck drake


Wednesday, 3rd April 2002, West Yorkshire

shelduck femaleshelduckEven though we walk past the rushy field so often it can still surprise us. The pair of shelduck swimming slowly over the open water seems an extraordinary sight here, about as far as you can get from the coast. Every few yards one or the other of them upends, sticking its rear end vertically into the air. We don't recall having ever seen them here before.

skylarklapwingreed bunting

We get views of three species of birds which in recent years have declined in number over the country as a whole; two skylarks by the Balk, a lapwing standing sentinel on a valley-side field and 3, probably 4 reed buntings skirmishing amongst the rushes on the marsh.

Let's hope that all three species get young off this year.

ducklingsA mallard duck leads her newly-hatched ducklings across the open page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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