Yesterday (Sunday) I went for a walk to our Museum Park and also around the little lake below which is a Bird Sanctuary.
I was especially excited today to catch sight of this lovely couple of Mandarins:
The Mandarin is an East Asian duck. They were imported to parks in Europe and some feral colonies can now also be found. In our sanctuary lake today I found them in the open part of it, so I take it they are free to come and go if they like. But it’s probably a good place for them to stay!
I’ve never come so close to them before that I’ve been able to zoom them in… But today I was!
This fellow – a Wood Duck I think – also turned up, but was chased away by the Mandarin drake… I think the Mandarin was a bit protective of his female companion and did not want any competition!
The Wood Duck comes from North America but is closely related to the Mandarin Duck.
Mandarin Ducks are referred to by the Chinese as Yuan-yang, where yuan (鴛) and yang (鴦) respectively stand for male and female Mandarin Ducks. In traditional Chinese culture, Mandarin Ducks are believed to be lifelong couples, unlike other species of ducks. Hence they are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity, and are frequently featured in Chinese art. --- The Mandarin Duck symbol is also used in Chinese weddings because in traditional Chinese lore, they symbolize wedded bliss and fidelity.
“Hey, I think you’ve got enough pictures now! Bye!”
PS. After I’d already posted this, I happened to come across a meme called Mandarin Monday… I just can’t resist linking up!