Friday, 13 July 2012

Dive! Dive! Dive!

I had gone to Rye Meads in the hope of photographing some waders in front of the Draper Hide. Unfortunately, the water levels were still high with no exposed mud. I therefore moved on to the Gadwall Hide.

Here were all the usual suspects with lots of Black-headed Gulls, Common Terns and Cormorants, but what caught my eye was a fresh brood of Tufted Ducks right in front of the hide. Young ducklings are extremely buoyant and lack the ballast tanks that the adults seem to have to help them dive so effortlessly. For ducklings, however, diving is a matter of considerable effort, and if they stop paddling as fast as they can they bob back to the surface like a cork.

The following sequence shows how this youngster was mastering the technique.

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