The Tufty Club, episode 2

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When I walked the river on Thursday it was bizarrely quiet, apart from the foolishly nesting coots and a couple of amorous mallards. I was especially looking for tufted ducks – because tufted ducks – but there wasn’t one to be seen anywhere.

This afternoon the water was heaving with birds, and it didn’t take R long to spot this gorgeous chap, nor him long to spot that I was pointing a huge lens at him and take off out of my first shot. Luckily he came down again not too far away, and I was able to get some decent photos. The light was a lot flatter than on the afternoon when I last photographed some tufted ducks, but I think that just means that his mad eyes and the water droplets on his feathers stand out more clearly.

The extra shows the time-honoured British tradition of taking your first-born to the river and feeding it to the water fowl. This little poppet was far more intrepid than many older children I’ve seen down at the Avon – she wasn’t even fazed when one of the mute swans almost took the grain out of her hand.