Grantham Mandarins

A tweet came in with me tagged into it from a good friend and top local birder Dave Roberts about a pair of Mandarin Ducks he had come across in a local park where the River Witham meanders gently through it while walking his dog. I tweeted back ‘see you in 10’ and off I walked round to the park.

Dave was making his way back to meet me and as I crossed the foot bridge to enter the parkland adjacent to the river I looked; as I normally do when crossing here; for Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail as this spot can prove good for both species. I looked to my right and saw no Grey Wagtail but a distant Grey Heron was seen – halfway there I guess!

Turning to look upstream to my left I scanned for Kingfisher and soon got onto one perched in a tree above the water on the right hand bank.

I crossed the bridge turning left heading into town and saw the Kingfisher was not moving as so spent a few minutes enjoying close but shrub obstructed views of a gloriously fit looking male bird. But he soon dived, missed the catch and re-postioned himself across the bank giving a better view.

Moving on to see where the Mandarins where I was soon looking across to the opposite river bank looking at a lovely pair of Mandarin in with a small group of Mallard.

They did not move too much from a small section of the river only gliding up and then down stream and returning to the same central area they seemed to favour. The pair were not taking lightly to any close drift-bys by the Mallards and were soon pecking at them as they go too close. The male was also looking to protect his female by standing guard next to the female when she was perched on a raised mound and preening.

I eventually moved on back homeward and saw the Kingfisher was too still in the same area and again had the chance to admire the bird and take a few more images through the vegetation as a clear view was not possible once again.

Thanks for the tip off Dave, I wonder how long the Mandarins will linger?

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