When a facebook connection posted images of Mandarin Duck taken in Dublin, I was stunned.

Immigrant Duck breed

This beautiful species is native of China, and indeed was in my bucket list of animal to photograph. Early in the last century they were imported in the UK and eventually made their way into the wild. Apparently only few years ago they have began nesting in Ireland.

Given the beautiful day I decided to bite the bullet and go find them. It was perhaps a little too easy. Isn’t it strange how we sort of devalue what comes with ease?

despite the anticlimax I got stuck into it. For a good couple of hours I was rolling in the dirt along the shore of a pond. Making myself as invisible and still as I could to get close to them.

Duck Behaviours

It didn’t take long to begin noticing behaviours.

It seemed the poor hen was constantly pestered by two drakes. Very curiously once the hen chose the Drake it began laying flat on the water surface to signal consent. I never seen this behaviour in other duck species.

Also interesting, and somewhat elegant, the drake flicking the head down in the water. The motion was a quick a and sharp in a 90 degree usually followed by a very guttural sound. It looked like a way to assert territorial power over the other duck pieces in the pond.

Follow the “bliss”

As the sun set low on the horizon their plumage colours started to glow even more intensely.

I took over a thousand shots in that short space of time. Selecting the best ones was indeed and arduous process. Yet as I look back at them I can’t help but think how the drake looks almost unreal, like a very well manufactured toy.

As I made my way back to the car a deep feeling of contentment started to emerge and I’m reminded how deeply therapeutic is to get lost in our bliss… šŸ™‚