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Why I'm 'quackers' for mallards

Jody Bourton Jody Bourton | 08:54 UK time, Monday, 8 December 2008

This week, Nature's Top 40, continues its countdown to the UK's number one wildlife spectacle.

Wildlife experts have been ranking suggestions from the public in order to compile a list of Britain's most amazing natural sights and sounds - and this got me thinking about what I might pick as my favourite wildlife wonder.

mallard_fordenphotographer.jpg

I've definitely got a soft spot for otters which were voted Britain's favourite mammal earlier this year, while the amazing muntjac deer certainly charmed me during our Autumnwatch encounters. Those most intelligent of birds - ravens - certainly have a place among my favourites too.

There are quite a few surprises on the top 40 list including less familiar wildlife sights such as glow worms and wood ants. But they all have several things in common - the ability to amaze and astound.

One of my most recent wildlife trips was to see the monarch butterflies roosting in Mexico. This was a truly spectacular event. However, equally moving on a different scale was seeing starlings roost on Aberystwyth pier a few years back.

I've been asked quite a few times what my favourite animal is and it probably comes down to (drum roll)...the mallard duck.

This is because it's one of the first birds I came into contact with and has a special place for that reason alone. But even more so because, in my mind, you simply can't get a better sound than a 'quack'. Whatever my mood, that 'quaking' noise never fails to bring a smile to my face.

So this leads me onto you. Which species among all our wildlife wonders do you rate most? Drop me a line using the form below to let me know what and why.

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