No, not that one, that’s a garden ornament and an owl (and it makes me think of Detective Columbo every time that I see it). I wonder if I could cobble together some sort of tatty old mackintosh for it to wear to complete the look?
The mystery bird is the one below…
Generally, if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck then it probably is a duck.
However, I am not so sure about this one.
It dived like a grebe, but… it was very large, very black (almost all over) and doesn’t match anything on my “Identifying Enemy Birds” wall-chart. I call it a grebe because it dived like one, disappearing under the water for a worryingly long period, and surfacing thirty yards and more away from its point of entry. It did this several times moving up the canal, and then it flew back in the direction from whence it had come. The take-off manoeuvre involved a lot of flying just above the water before finally gaining altitude.
The little devil certainly has the polarised vision (or some such) of under-water hunters, since he could see me right through my one-way windows. At one point he walked up the towpath alongside the Cardinal, but as soon as I moved to take a better photograph he was having none of it, gave me the avian bras d’honneur and took his leave.
Height, displaying as he was in the top photo? I’d guess at 60cms, with an extended sing-span of maybe 90cms. A sizeable beastie.
No obvious call.
He spent ten minutes on the towpath extending and flapping his wings as though to dry them, but surely a diving bird wouldn’t need to “dry” his wings?
Apologies for the quality of the photographs, but this was as close as the wee compact could get me, through glass and without moving (so as not to disturb him again).
Any and all ideas on a post-card please.
What the hecky-heck is it?