I had been watching the mallard and her young one for a long while at the Dodder footbridge. It appeared that the mother was helping her young with skills for leaving the nest. Everywhere the little one went the former was not far behind, just like a mother or minder with a toddler, not all that ready to be left completely alone. Somebody had placed piles of crumbs for the birds on the side of the Dodder wall and the young one had copied the pigeons and flew from the water onto the wall. S/he plonked her/himself right in the middle of the feed and picked at them, then the mother followed suit to watch over. It was a lovely sight to behold. I’ve noticed before on the canal that the mallards go off to solitary parts when they are pregnant and rearing young ones. These two were the only ones to be seen in this solitary part of the river.