|Black Muscovy duck|
An interesting website I came across a while ago while trying to work out whether ducks I'd seen were domestic varieties of Mallard, hybrids, or some other unusual colour variation such as leucism (or something else entirely!) can be found here. The unfortunate term previously coined of 'manky mallard' isn't meant unkindly here, and the site has lots of great examples of the weird and wonderful variations of Mallard that may be spotted when out and about nature watching (though judging by some of the comments, perhaps some of the IDs suggested on the website may be up for debate!!!).
A different kind of challenge was that of trying to photograph some of the bumblebees. The reservoir is surrounded by Willow trees, and the catkins were proving as popular a draw as ever for various bees, butterflies and other insects. Getting in amongst them, I attempted to photograph some of the bees in flight, queen White-tailed and Tree bumblebees being the ones I spotted here on this occasion.
|Barren strawberry flowers|
|Pink Purslane flowers|
Wonderful to see were clumps of pale yellow Wild Primrose (I've yet to see the pink variety that can also occur in the wild), one of our earliest spring flowers, it's name deriving from the Latin prima rosa meaning 'first rose', although it isn't a member of the rose family.
|Wild Primrose flowers|
Something I haven’t seen for many years which I spotted next to the path was a type of puffball fungus, about 6cms across. I resisted the temptation to give it a good squeeze to release the spores in a cloud of brown smokiness, something I remember doing as a kid whenever I found one! Perhaps next time I shall do, just for old times’ sake!
|Unknown ID - a kind of puffball fungus|