Welcome to Wild In Britain, an occasional and irregular photo journal of my encounters with all types of wildlife in the British Isles. All species featured on the site are wild, and all photographs are the copyright of Ben Locke. For prints and licensing click here. Please also take a look at my main site BenLocke.co.uk
The beautiful Mandarin Duck was introduced from the Far East, where it can still be found in China, Japan, Korea and parts of Russia. Britain has a number of feral populations, descended from escapees or deliberate releases. Mandarin ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds. They nest in cavities in trees close to water during the spring. The diet of mandarin ducks changes seasonally; in the fall and winter, they mostly eat acorns and grains. In the spring, they mostly eat insects, snails, fish and aquatic plants. The male pictured here was photographed in the Forest of Dean. The female is dull in comparison, with a grey head, brown back and white eye-stripe, but still an attractive duck.