Colourful character takes up residence at Ellesmere Mere
A colourful character is causing a stir at the Mere in Ellesmere.
A mandarin duck has taken up residence on the Mere for the second year running. His flamboyant plumage and unusual tail feathers have made him the one to spot on the water.
Visitors to the Shropshire beauty spot can be seen taking photos of the male mandarin who is thought to be without a mate. Mandarin ducks are a symbol of fidelity in their native China and Korea because they are said to mate for life.
This visitor has settled down happily amid the rest of the water fowl including the mallard ducks, coots, geese and swans. Staff at the Mere have urged visitors feeding all the ducks to stick to seeds and greens rather than bread.
Shropshire Wildlife Trust said the mandarin duck was introduced into Britain from the Far East. Oddly for a duck, it nests in trees, sometimes high above the water.
Two years ago a pair of mandarin ducks took up residence on a small pond near Market Drayton. In their native China the mandarin duck was once seen as a delicacy.