Fringe Box



Blue Skies – Spring Is Here!

Published on: 23 Apr, 2013
Updated on: 23 Apr, 2013

Spring has finally sprung and the sun is shining!

A family of mallard ducks photographed by Dani Mxxx at Albury Estate Fishery.

Ducklings at the Albury Estate Fishery taking in the Sunday afternoon sun. Photographed by Dani Maimone.

Take a walk into the countryside around Guildford and you’ll find the air is filled with the sound of bird song. Buds are now beginning to break on the trees while many smaller trees and shrubs are flowering in people’s gardens.

Amazing how quickly nature moves when the wether picks up. But gardeners and growers alike will tell you that everything is about 20 days late, at the moment.

Our picture of a mallard duck and her ducklings was taken by writer, photographer and PR consultant Dani Maimone at the Albury Estate Fisheries on Sunday.

Mallards are one of the most common ducks whose range extends over most of the northern hemisphere. They can cross breed with some other species of duck and, unusually, the result of these matings are fertile. They are not vegetarian, about one third of their diet is animal matter, including grubs and insects. They are reputed to sometimes eat frogs.

Mallards sometimes nest away from water, as their primary concern when selecting a nesting site is that it is protected from animals that might prey on them or their eggs. That is why they sometimes nest on roofs and other high places. They often nest on Guildford Castle. Unfortunately, this makes survival of the ducklings problematic because of the drop.

They are unable to fly for a period when they moult their feathers after breeding. Only the duck makes a quack sound. The drake makes a quieter whistling sound.

Daffodils in Stoke Park photographed by Dani Maimone.

Daffodils in Stoke Park photographed by Dani Maimone.

Dani also sent us this photo of a host of golden daffodils in Stoke Park.

But will the fine weather last? This morning (April 23), the Met Office’s warning for Thursday to Saturday read: “Rain across central areas pushing southeast Thursday into Friday. Becoming colder from the north into the weekend, with sunshine and showers, these showers wintry on northern hills. Overnight frosts returning.”

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