Posted by: mynaturaldiary | January 11, 2009

A trip to see the Leven Ducks (and an ice cream made in heaven)

Before setting off to Great Ayton, we get a Collared Dove visitor to Cafe Twitch.


Collared Dove  (Streptopelia decaocto)

These are a frequent visitor to our Cafe.

At Great Ayton, the setting sun provides a magnificent backdrop against the escarpment of the North York Moors


In the fields, are some Carrion Crows.


Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)

It’s tempting to say they are about to kick-off, using a 3-3-4 formation, but they fly away before we get too close.

At the end of a muddy walk across fields is a little dam, which holds back the River Leven.  In the lee of the dam are perhaps some of the best fed ducks in Britain.  They take our bread with the air of well satiated connoisseurs.




Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

We are also connoisseurs of the finest vanilla ice cream I’ve ever tasted.  I would say the world, but mindful of Juvenal’s ornithological quote  (A rare bird upon the earth, and exceedingly like a black swan) there may (just) be somewhere better. Perhaps it’s in Australia, together with those once seemingly impossible black swans.

 It’s sold from this shop, on the opposite side of the road where the ducks wait to be fed.


In addition to making heavenly ice cream, it still sells its sweets from jars by the quarter.  Very, very English.


  1. Dear Ian,
    My daddy recommended that I look at your website. I saw the pictures of Suggit’s ice cream, the carrion crows, mallards, North Yorkshire Moors and the Wood piegon.I liked the mallards best. I would like to see a picture of a Green Woodpecker. Would that be possible ?
    From Elinor (Adrians 10-year-old daughter)
    P.S I am a member of the R.S.P.B along with my brother.

  2. The photographer says he’ll try!

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