We went to the estuary for a walk, unheeded by weekend cyclists, or anyone else, in fact!
Even the water was amazingly still, apart from the ripples from shoals of tiny fish.
We saw the first migrants coming in.
Some of the ducks landed. I'm useless at identifying ducks, so I thought when I get home I will have a look through my book and compare it with the photo.
Couldn't find them in the first book. Couldn't find them in the second, bigger book. Couldn't find them on the internet.
Anyone out there good at identifying ducks ?
And while we're on the subject, for the last few years five ducks (also unidentified but I think they're a cross breed domestic type) have been sticking together in a tight-knit group, following each other round, swimming in a line and feeding and sleeping together. We called them the Famous Five.
Every week I had to seek them out (not too difficult) and count them. There was always five, for a couple of years, then this spring five became four.
A few weeks later there were three, then two, and now there is just one.
I have a habit of imagining how birds and animals must feel, assuming they have emotions similar to us, because, after all, who can ever say they don't?
When we saw all five ducks swimming in unison, tail to tail, I had these thoughts of how sad it would be when there was just one left. Would he wonder what happened to his friends?
It's turned out not so bad. He's swimming with the mallards, but I don't know what will happen next spring when they start their mating ritual as the Famous Five were all drakes and never took any notice of females.
The other side of the bridge over the estuary is a river, and it has become swamped with overgrown reeds. I have a feeling the ducks, and possibly many more, met their death from predators hiding in the reed beds.
On Wednesday it was being cleared to reveal a nice, clear waterway again.
The man in the digger had finished the job before we got back to the bridge.
Meanwhile, the cygnet is growing his adult plumage.
No squirrels again, but a bumper crop of acorns and hazel nuts probably means they've had their fill and are sleeping it off somewhere.