“Stranger,
here you will do well to linger; here our highest good is pleasure”
Epicurus

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Waterfowl

November 26, 2019

Winter is almost upon us and soon the ancient ritual of migration will compel many species of birds and waterfowl to start their journey to warmer climates or far away breeding grounds.

But for many feathered species they will continue to make Britain their homes over the bitter months and have done since their introduction to our landscaped gardens and parks hundreds of years ago. 4_IMG_1042_19-11-15_Broken_Clock_Lingering_Vodka_Duck_Horiz.jpg The Egyptian Goose is one of these waterfowl varieties. It was brought to England in the 17th Century as a popular feature of ornamental ponds and lakes and has made itself a permanent resident ever since. Originally taken from North Africa, this hardy species has adapted to the famous climate here with aplomb and is now thriving in the wild too from Norfolk to the West Country.

It stubbornly insists on breeding in January – the coldest month of all – and curiously likes to nest in holes in trees which are not exactly very abundant. Its vividly coloured chicks are also susceptible to predators yet somehow this startling bird defies the odds and increases its numbers and expands its habitat every year.

While waterfowl have been domesticated or kept in captivity for thousands of years – as far back indeed as the Egyptians – it was the British who were some of the first to do so for aesthetic reasons rather than for sustenance… and now no pond would be complete without the ripples from a busy duck, wading goose or majestic swan.