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DUCKS

The most common type of duck on this section of the Leeds and Liverpool canal is the Mallard, depicted in this slide show.

Ducks have webbed feet to help them paddle in the water.

Although ducks will eat almost all the bread you throw to them, bread is not very good for them. Ducks naturally eat seeds, berries, plants, slugs, snails and small amphibians.

Water rail

Moorhens, coots and water rail do not have webbed feet. However, the skin on their talons is very loose and forms a web when they are paddling.

The Coot is the largest of the three and has a white patch on its head. The adult moorhen has a red & yellow beak. The rail is the smallest of the three with brown & white wings.

They eat seeds, berries, plants, insects and shellfish.

Geese

The most common goose to be found on this section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal  is the Canada Goose.  

They group together in quite large flocks, and like to sit on the grass. They hiss when the feel threatened.

Unlike ducks, Canada geese are herbivores and eat roots, grass, seeds and berries

Grey Heron

The grey heron is a common sight along this section of the canal. Mature heron have a distinctive black stripe from front to rear on their head, which juvenile heron lack.

They are tall birds with a large wingspan, and live in tall trees.

Heron mostly eat fish, but will also eat small birds, and mammals such as voles and rodents.

Gulls

You’ll find many types of gull on this section of  the L&LC. The common gull and the black faced gull, forr example.

Also, you’re quite close to the coast here and you will find sea birds including herring gulls, yellow legged gulls and Arctic gulls.

Gulls are generally opportunistic feeders, and will eat most things including bread, if they can beat the ducks to it.  

Other birds

This section of the L&LC provides nearly every type of habitat for birds, so there is a huge variety. Rimrose Valley park is well worth a mention as a favourite haunt of bird watchers, but then again, the yellow or grey wagtails under Linacre bridge will let you know they’re there.

There’s just 6 birds in this final slideshow, but there are many more I’ve not been able to photograph. Finches and tits are just too small for my camera and swifts, swallows and martins are too quick.  

Swans

Mute swans are the biggest waterfowl to be found on this section of the canal. They are not shy and will approach you for food.

Swans eat water plants, insects and snails, but will also accept any wheat based foods. However, bread and cakes are junk food to them.

Swans, geese and ducks belong to the same family called “Wildfowl”

Finally, It’s worth mentioning three things: