Mandarin ducks are commonly known as the most beautiful ducks in the world and in East Asia, their native home, they are revered as symbols of true love. Brought to England in private collections, escapees have gone on to find a home here and we now have a population of around 7,000 wild birds. Pictured is a male, the far more exotic looking of the pair, but the females have their own elegant beauty. The Worcester and Birmingham canal is an occasional home to both a male and a female.
 
(Image/Words: James Benwell)