I had a lovely cool walk by the river on this very hot day and I was most taken by the birds and ducks I saw. There were some black-headed gulls flying high and coots with their distinctive white forehead and face, and some wagtails – strikingly bobbing up and down as they stood on the shore. I looked closely and saw that they had quite a bit of yellow on them – but I knew I would have to check their identity – and sure enough, they are more likely to have been grey wagtails – lovely all the same. Another sighting I am not sure of, was what looked like a grebe – its diving habits reminded me of that: perfect duck-diving and surfacing metres from where they dived in. It looked all black from where I was standing, so it could have been a black-necked grebe.
And then I paused for a whole while to watch the Canada geese, standing in the shallows all stationary, preening themselves double-jointedly, beak-scratching behind their necks, twitching their tail feathers and sometimes flicking their side heads with bulky webbed feet, softly gosle-gabbling. When fully on land they waddled largely, or they stood Tai Chi one-legged, head tucked backward in rest, or they sat, slumped belly down with white eye-lid covering. And in another turn they were off gliding, gracefully along the water with no cares in the world.