Something restful to look at after a hard few days’ work, although these ducks, bucolic as they may seem, are actually protected by foxes from an electric fence and have seen their numbers rise and fall in the most precarious and bloody way. They’re only a few miles from the sea and a splendid estuary, but clearly prefer their pond and its mediated dangers.

Off picture, to the left, is a cunning structure of chicken wire and struts, which protects the ducks and their eggs from marauders, although I can’t remember what these are. Presumably, they arrive from above. Crows? Magpies? The structure also makes it possible for their owners to steal their eggs whenever they choose, which, post 9/11, comes under the heading of ‘the price we pay for freedom’.

The female ducks have curly tails, the male ducks don’t. Or is it the other way round?

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