The Shelduck seems a noble bird, red, green, white, brown, and black,
And every time it's overheard, it always says, 'Quack, quack! '
Yes, like each duck, it says a lot, regardless of the need!
It only stops still on the spot when it finds time to feed.
First walking back and forth right there upon its orange feet,
Yet suddenly, it's in the air each time I tried to meet.
I'd get up close, then off it's gone! My photos must be blurred!
It gets to be a carry-on for photos of that bird!
I crossed the wet expanse that day, each time for one more try,
He waited in one place to stay, saw me, then chose to fly.
Each time he quacked excitedly! As if to mock me there,
As if he'd seen the last of me while flying through the air.
And while, I, too, had cause to doubt, each time when I walked far,
I had all day to mess about with my old camera.
Though pretty soon, I saw the moon that meant my plans must stall,
I vowed to get some pictures soon, not giving up at all.
The next day, I returned once more, dressed now in camouflage!
So I got closer than before, some photos to enlarge.
When I took pictures, I was pleased, and then made my retreat,
All worries that I had then ceased! I thought I had it beat!
When I got home, to my surprise, most pictures seen were black,
The fault was mine, I realise, that's why I'm going back,
For photos on the Internet! Up close and crystal clear!
I'll get that blurred bird's pictures yet! This week! This month! This year!
Denis Martindale. July 2021.
The poem is about the UK wildlife artist,
Stephen Gayford, who painted hundreds
of magnificent paintings, with many still
being sold on the eBay UK website today.