There is a pair of Northern Shovelers, Spatula clypeata, in The Regent’s Park. I sit under a weeping Willow and hope they’ll swim this way. It’s beautiful sunshine and they look such a cosy couple, swimming and feeding together.
The female has exquisite plumage, with the most fabulous gradation of feathers and subtlety of shading. Her bill looks like tortoiseshell:
The male’s not too shabby, either.
As they swim by, unconcerned by me, I can see the fine comb-like structures on their bills. Just click to enlarge if you want to have a closer look at them:
The scientific name Spatula is from the Latin for spatula. You might have guessed that.
What a beautiful experience.