I’m just dabbling
There’s a Eurasian Teal plodding its way through the mud towards me at RSPB Lodmoor in Weymouth. I love how muddy its toes are and I am impressed at how easily the mud runs off the scales on its webbed feet.
It’s colours are beautiful. It’s a small relative of the Mallard duck and this male has an iridescent head, just like male Mallards do. It’s also a dabbling duck, which means it’s part of a group which grazes, dabbles on the surface or upends to feed and doesn’t dive. That explains the position of the legs, which are more amidships than diving ducks, which tend to have their legs far to the rear. I think it also means they’re slightly more elegant on land and don’t have quite as pronounced a waddle.
I might need to study their gait a little more to be sure, though.
Seriously, where else would you read someone speculating about which ducks waddle the most and why? It’s good to have your company.
If I was being serious about taking this Teal’s photograph I’d be lying in the mud at water level to get a better angle. I don’t think the mud would run off my trousers in quite the same way.
But, like the Teal, I’m just dabbling
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