Paternal mallard

Mallard drakes are usually the very model of feckless fathers, heading off even before the ducklings are hatched. But this mallard family on the canal near the Wildside Centre is the second one I’ve seen this year where the drake is still around, playing an active role in protecting the young ones. The other was in West Park. Just after these pictures were taken, another drake swam close to the family. The resident drake immediately went into full-blown aggressive mode. The intruder was already beginning to flee before the female also joined in.