Scotland Day 24: Chastised by Ducks

Today I discovered peanut butter and honey in the breakfast room at the B&B where we are staying. This was very good for the soul. I do not name the establishment because it was obviously run by muggles. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't extraordinary and Scotland, on the whole, has been extraordinary.

Traveler Two and I drove to Kincraig to visit the Highland Wildlife Park. We saw Kiang (Tibetan Wild Ass), Yak, Mishmi Takin European Forest Reindeer, European Bison, Mouflon, Przewalski's Horse, Red Deer, Tundra Reindeer, Bukhara Deer, Arctic Fox, Snowy Owl, Red Panda, Urial, Scottish Wildcat (happily ripping things like liver and pancreas out of a dead rabbit), Pine Martin, Capercaille, Chough, European Wolf, Markhor, Bharal, Goral, Himalayan Tahr, and Wild Boar. Those were what we were supposed to see. But, the car, being a great hide, we also saw the following just out and about doing their own thing: oystercatchers with babies or sitting on nests, lapwings, redshank, pheasant, black-headed gulls, a pied-wagtail, a robin, a song thrush, and a numerous rabbits.

The Mishmi Takin, large goat-antelopes things, were copulating by the way, which prompted me to exclaim when asked if I got the shot, “I do not do Yak pornography!” Actually, I was so surprised by how quick the encounter was I forgot to take a shot. 

Arctic Fox

We also saw Mallards. I, unfortunately, within their hearing said, “Oh those are just Mallards,” in such a way as to discount them as something interesting and worthy of photography, at least on this day, where we were surrounded by so many other more “exotic” creatures. This would have serious repercussions later in the day.

Loch Morlich

As if seeing all of the above wasn’t enough for one day, we drove into the Glenmore Forest and walked around Loch Morlich. It was sunny and hailing when we arrived, typical Scottish weather.

Loch Morlich

Suddenly, our car was surrounded by Mallards. And they all seemed to gravitate to the driver’s side of the car where I was sitting. When I got out of the car I was immediately forced up against the side of the car by their approach. Four males and a female. They walked right up to me. One practically climbed in the car. I really do think he was going to get in and stay there, holding the car hostage, until the discussion was over. They were quite put out with my comments earlier (apparently Mallards have very good information transfer systems across towns). These ducks would not be ignored. They had a bone to pick with me and let me know it. I took their portraits, which seemed to appease them somewhat. But they weren't done with me yet.

Mr. Mallard Number Two

Ms. Mallard

As we walked along, more Mallards appeared, and this group brought their kids with them. I was surrounded again by adult Mallards and their babies. I kneeled down trying to take photos. One particularly bold duckling, a male, if the hint of green sheen on the top of his head was any indication, squeezed himself under me and shot out the other side. Traveler Two said it looked like I was pooping ducklings.

These ducks meant business. They were not going to be ignored!

One very bold ducking

Hear this world, all ducks, no matter how humble, from the simple farmyard duck to the most exotic and flashy living somewhere in Madagascar or some such place, all are worthy of being photographed and paid attention to.

“Was that good enough?”
“Quack, quack,
“I take that as a yes.”
"Quaaack quack."
"I see you are going to insist on having the last word here aren't you?"
"Quack quack quack."

And thus, I find myself chastised by ducks.


The edge of the pine forest, Loch Morlich

Loch Morlich

Black-headed gulls

Black-headed gull

European Robin

Wild Ass

A European Bison, which I was rather excited to see from an archaeological point of view, seeing as I dug up several of its ancestors many years ago.

A boatload of wild boar babies


Young Oystercatcher (left) being tought to hunt


Black-headed gulls
Bukhara Deer

Lakebow, Aviemore


  1. Honey is really good for your soul . However if we consume honey in wee hours , it is excellent

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