Well for some of these, I think that’s probably the most apt title… with faces that only a mother could love… ;)
Recently we visited Arundel Wetland Centre, which is 26 hectares of naturalised landscapes and wetland habitats, home to kingfishers, water voles and many hundreds of wildfowl. Funny story about the Water Vole, but more on that later… ;)
HAD to include this one in the mix, but not because it’s freaky in any way…. but the kids and I spent quite some time watching these little Long Tailed Ducks scooting around… They’re diving ducks, and seemed to be having so much fun… The thing that appealed to me the most though was their call… Here’s a link to listen to, but to me it sounded as though they were saying “Oy !!, Are you alright ???….. Arrrrrgh !!!”….
And who’d ever believe they’d grow up to look like this !!!… Mummy Coot and Baby Coots learning all about… well… probably how NOT to be picked on by all the other much more appealing baby ducks… “Just get back in there and hide in the bushes until you look like me”
Now for the Water Vole, which unfortunately we never saw…. The Water Vole had almost been wiped out by Mink, but there’s a concerted effort underway by a lot of various wildlife trusts etc to reverse the decimation (at the expense of the Mink)… and at this particular wetland centre they have successfully re-introduced back in to the surrounding wetlands about 400 wild breeding pairs… Now obviously this is something they’re quite proud of, and readily advertise their success with Water Voles with various display boards around the centre… We were walking past one such display with a big picture of a Water Vole on it, and my youngest daughter stopped… looked at the picture, and exclaimed “Awwwwwww…. Look at the cute little WATER BOWL”…. LOL… And with her, once she HAS a name in her head, then there’s very little you can do to convince her otherwise… Haha… It was even funnier though when she tried to correct one of the guides (who was showing us here we might spot a Water Vole) that it was a Water BOWL !!!… Kids… Gotta love em… almost as much as ducks… ;)