Country diary: a nocturnal predator cuts life short
Marshwood Vale, Dorset: I found the pair of mallards on the water, paddling in agitated circles. Something wasn’t right
My dog slunk across the lawn, crunching guiltily. She had been sniffing around the garden pond and found something tasty. I shut her in the house and went to investigate.
Hidden beneath a clump of pendulous sedge, I discovered an untidy, scrabbled-together heap of broken reeds containing nine large eggs. Five were pale blue, three were greeny-brown and one was an indeterminate light colour.