Yesterday evening we walked over to Blackford Pond, where we saw these proud parent mallards and a little grebe, respendent in its breeding plumage. The books describe little grebes as very shy and this one certainly was, it spent most of its time under water! The evening was beautiful, mild and still with a wonderful sky of soft clouds. We walked round Blackford Hill and the Hermitage of Braid and after coming almost face to face with a swooping kestrel (they're incredibly beautiful at close range!) we sat down for a while looking at the trees below, which were full of chattering jackdaws and the hill behind that was full of rabbits. Swifts were darting about high above us and the air was full of birdsong (I was pleased that I recognised the song of a whitethroat). A very peaceful place.