My erstwhile Wood Duck mother has found herself a special place for her daily beauty ritual.
Not far from my morning coffee spot window there is a large rock, unearthed when building years ago and too big to be easily moved. It awaits inspiration — and energy.
Now each morning Madame Duck comes and stands on it, facing the newly risen sun, and well above the damp grass and its long seed spikes.
She has the ability to turn her head completely back to front – and she does, poking and scouring quite fiercely with her beak under each wing and down her back, fluffing up her feathers and shaking herself to dislodge any small loose feathers.
Then she adds a deposit to the small black and white pile on the rock. She turns and looks me in the eye — ‘Can’t a girl get any privacy round here?’
No fear — not when you pick an ablutions rock in such easy view.