Cenarth, Carmarthenshire My glimpses of these spectacular, shy, tree-hole-nesting ducks have grown more frequent in recent years. May that hopeful trend continue

The woods along Afon Teifi were dappled with autumn’s palette. It was fascinating to match tint to tree, to look forward to fire-tones suggested before realised. Squirrels dipped and scurried for nuts among paling hazel foliage. Before the first frosts, a solitary leaf drifted downwards, presage of pattering quiet tumult through coming weeks.

From a riverside path, suddenly I glimpsed a flash of brilliant white, focused the glass in time to see a drake goosander arrowing upriver, low above the surface, its chuckling call carrying through still air, its large wing-patches startlingly white against cloud-reflecting water: “So arrogantly pure a child might think/ It could be murdered with a spot of ink” (as Yeats wrote of a swan).

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Source: Guardian Environment