25 pairs of Pintail

There’s a pair of Pintail ducks at Bowling Green Marsh near Exeter.

I’ve seen one before in the West Midlands when a birder with a scope pointed to a dot I could barely see. “Pintail”, he said, excitedly. It could have been a plastic bag for all I knew.

Today was different:

Pintail - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They are such handsome ducks.

Pintail - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They seem to be practising their synchronised swimming:

Pintail - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The latest The State of the UK’s Birds says there are just 25 breeding pairs. There are something like 29,000 birds here in winter. I hope these two males find mates and stay.

Pintail can be shot legally in the UK during their open season, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The open season? Anytime from September to January inland and September to February below the mean high water mark. These are almost safe, until next year.

Pintail - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

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