When Zoe and I went for our walk around the lakes last Sunday morning, things were much quieter then they had been only a week or two earlier. Sadly for Zoe, the muscovy duck was nowhere to be seen. Also, the female of the old pair of Egyptian geese was missing, but maybe she was just hiding away somwhere sitting on a clutch of eggs. The male didn't seem particularly distressed. The mandarin ducks were also acting differently: instead of swimming around under the bushes, the males were in a group on the bank squabbling, presumably over females. Of the 20-30 shoveler ducks that were on the lakes in December, only 3 pairs were left, each pair consisting of one male and one female circling each other with beaks submerged. On my way to work on Monday morning I noticed 3 pairs of shovelers on the lake near Frimley; they were still there this afternoon as I walked back to catch the train home. It looks as if the large densely packed roating groups we saw in December were not just for feeding, they must also be where the males and females chose their mates before dispersing as couples to other lakes in the area.