The farmer drew back the curtains at 6.30 this morning to see a group of ducks strolling up the lane outside our house. There are plenty of semi-wild ducks around here because they are bred on our neighbouring estate for shooting parties in the Winter. The same is true of course for pheasants. Luckily (or unluckily if you happen to be the game keeper on the estate) the ducks quickly learn to walk rather than fly and to stay on the pond - in either case they can't be shot at - they have to be in the air.
Our neighbouring farmer has a grain store and the ducks regularly stroll round there for a feed when he is not looking. He has had to learn to approach the store from the opposite end, approach it slowly and making just a little bit of noise and allow the birds to stroll out - otherwise if they all fly out together in fright at his approach they scare the cattle in the next shed so that there is mayhem and panic.
It was nice to see them out for their morning walk, quacking quietly to each other as they went up the lane. Of course the pheasants also take advantage of any corn lying about. Two or three stroll up the lane and turn into our gate every morning, making for the bird table. They are semi-tame and if we go out they don't fly off, they merely retreat under the nearest bush until we have gone.
On a different note - it is the dandelion season. All along the edges of the roads here dandelions are in full bloom. There can't be another wild flower that reproduces with such energy (and has such a long tap root that it is impossible to get them out of the garden).
Several of the farmer's fields have patches of dandelion. If we don't do something about it before they start flinging their thousand seeds into the air then next year the whole field will be covered, and whilst it will look pretty it won't make good silage. So we must do something about it quickly before they seed.