The tree lined Victorian boating lake in Roath Park is home to some of our most familiar faces – mute swans, Canada geese, greylag geese and more mallards than you can shake a stick at (very carefully, from a distance, without disturbing them!).
It also provides a rest spot for those passing by on the way to their preferred hangouts. Last year it was the elusive red necked grebe from eastern Europe, and this month it’s been home to a much less rare bird, but still an uncommon visitor to the city centre, the shelduck.
Shelduck are one of our biggest ducks in the UK, just a bit bigger than our mallards and instantly identifiable by their jazzy bright red beaks and ginger patch on their chest. This female (a little smaller than their male counterparts) has been dabbling along the banks of Roath Park lake with the resident mallards for a few weeks now.
You’re more likely to spot shelducks on estuaries, where our rivers meet the sea. So she’s not far off, but if she wants to bump into her pals before spring then she’ll need to head a bit further out of Cardiff to the coast to find her flock!
If you want to stay in touch, follow my wild adventures here:
Instagram – @wildly_pip
Twitter – @wildlypip
WordPress – Wildly Pip