• Claire Stott

The chase

The mallard ducks’ elaborate courtship displays may now be coming to an end, but the drama is far from over!

As the females prepare to lay their eggs in the coming weeks, the males are fiercely protective of their partners, keen to ensure that he alone mates with her and fathers her offspring.

This pair of revved up males were involved in a particularly explosive fight, their beating wings sending water cascading through the air and obscuring much of the action.

It was quite difficult to keep track of the drakes and maintain a sharp focus among the splashing, however I am reasonably happy with these results. They may not be the best photos technically but they do capture the chaos and drama of the encounter rather well.

A high shutter speed of 1/1600sec was used to freeze the action in these images.

As one drake seized another by the tail the pair swam in rapid circles, engaged in a clumsy tug of war for several minutes until one was finally able to break free and fly away.

All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2019 © www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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#breedingseason #birdwatching #outdoors #aberystwyth #conflict #birdphotographer #aggression #spring #mallards #water #ornithology #birdbehaviour #mallardducks

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