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The rusties may have a bit of competition this summer

 

There I was, relaxing at my desk, after a day’s hard grafting when I heard a once familiar sound. Quack, quack, quaaaack. Loud. Close by. We rushed outside just in time to see two of them hightailing it down the river.

By the next day there were four.

 
 

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Getting some decent pictures of them has proved a bit of a challenge. I decided on a stake out. After all, if they’d gone up the river then most likely they’d come back the same way, yes? The sun was going down but I’d found the perfect spot, cunningly concealed beside a tree but ready to catch them at beak level as they rounded a bend. Cold set in. Mike threw me down a fleece. My gardening clog revealed a hole and the soil down there is boggy. And then the midges arrived.

 
 

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A career as a wildlife photographer just isn’t going to happen. Especially when, feeling not a little smug, I can retreat inside for one of Heston Blumenthal’s hot cross buns and replace myself with a field cam. And what happened next? What? The ducks came back overland that’s what. They hauled themselves out of the water and took a short cut, completely avoiding the meander in the river where we’d carefully set up the camera.

 
 

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But before anyone should dwell for even a second upon the word ‘Crispy’..

 
 

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or reaches for the hoisin sauce, as Mike already has..

 
 

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 I should point out that these ducks don’t actually look that wild..

 
 

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I’d put good money on someone downstream keeping them as pets.

 
 

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So it just wouldn’t be right now would it?

 
 

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