The colourful and exotic male Mandarin (Aix galericlata). [ISO 800; F/9; 1/250 @ 300mm].
A species that breeds in East Asia and was initially introduced into the UK in the 18th century with the first feral breeding probably occurring in the 1930's but also found in a number of other European countries. It prefers ponds, lakes and rivers with fairly dense overhanging vegetation and can often be seen perched high in trees nearby.
His partner is much drabber in colour but still very distinctive with the 'spectacle' eye stripe ( not unlike their cousin, the American Wood Duck). [ISO 800; F/7.1; 1/400 @ 300mm].
For a previous post on this species on my main blog check this link ..... Magnificent Mandarin.
I am hoping that at least one pair will return to a pond on my local patch and successfully rear another brood this year although predation of the young tends to be rather high. FAB.
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