Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Dabbling Ducks and the Congregating Cormorants

Cormorants, Phalacrocorax carbo
Our day out at the Arundel Wetland Trust reminded me of a poem from my childhood.  Its from "The Wind in the Willows" (Kenneth Graham) - one of my favourite childhood books.


All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all!

Ducks' tails, drakes' tails,
Yellow feet a- quiver.
Yellow bills all out of sight
Busy in the river!

Slushy green undergrowth
Where the roach swim -
There we keep our larder,
Cool and full and dim.

Everyone for what he likes!
We like to be
Heads down, tails up
Dabbling free!

High in the blue above
Swifts whirl and call -
We are down a-dabbling
Up tails all!
dabbling duck -
Gadwall, Anas strepera
"How wonderfully designed they are" I pointed out to Captain B.  "They never topple over backwards which I certainly would if I took up dabbling."

"The mind boggles" said the Captain glumly as he waited in vain for the Kingfisher to turn up.   We saw a flock of Cormorants at Widewater Lagoon today though. We got there via a trip to see my arthritis specialist, or rather, as it turns out, his nurse (a very nice lady), and a shop at the big Marks and Sparks.

I made onion bhajis this afternoon. They have turned out quite well, so I might cook another batch for Saturday.

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