A couple of days ago I saw some birds in the water next to the cycle path on my way to work in the morning. My first thought was “small ducks”, but after having past them I realised I hadn’t looked closely at them and though I tried to fix the vague memories of their appearance in my head, by the time I got to work I realised that it could have been anything from a moor hen to a “funnily coloured duck that looked small for some reason”. I wish I could go back in time and look at them properly!
Fortunately, time travel was not required in order to get a second look. On my way home from work, the ducks were still there, and though they got a bit shy when I carefully brought my bike to a stop and slowly got my camera out, they only swam a little further away, and stayed near some grass they could hide in, if they needed it. I managed to get a little video. I’m sure they were making some sounds at the time, but unfortunately it was so windy that it’s pretty impossible to hear anything on here. Towards the end I zoom in, and you can see them a bit better:
I also took quite a few photos, and here are some zoomed and cropped versions. Click for bigger versions in lightbox:
Hopefully some helpful ornithologists out there can help me figure out what they are. Please comment with your ideas!