The Red-headed LeagueSaturday 18th March 2000
They sit and preen and occasionally waddle into the water. Their legs are well back on their boat-shaped body, an adaption for swimming underwater. I've seen one dive in the rapids and come up with a small shining fish. Their long thin bills have serrations along them, enabling them to hold onto their slippery prey. The shape of the bill and the head reminds me of a cormorant.
A pair of Mallard sometimes share their island, as does a pair of Pied Wagtails that have been picking up food items along the strandline of the silt bar in the shallows, which is now showing again above water.
Morning sunshine transforms the underside of the old road bridge over the canal, reflecting wavy patterns that remind me of holidays and sea caves. Small stalactites hang from cracks between the massive stone blocks.