PONDS are always great places to spot wildlife, so it was with great anticipation that I visited Inglewood Pond in Alloa and the nearby Delph Pond in Tullibody last week.

And I wasn't disappointed, for both delivered some wonderful views of waterfowl.

Inglewood duck pond is a delightful place, and a haven for mallards, with several resting on an island in the middle.

There were also a couple of moorhens about in the reedy margins, their white-fringed tails flicking nervously.

These moorhens were relatively tame, which contrasts starkly with those on the River Devon, which are shy and always swim rapidly to the bankside for shelter should a person approach.

After observing the waterfowl at Inglewood, I took the short car journey to Delph Pond.

Here, there were good numbers of goosanders, and like the Inglewood moorhens, they were remarkably unconcerned by my near presence.

Goosanders are fish eaters and I find it unlikely that the small Delph Pond would be a productive place for them to hunt, and instead, I imagine they rely upon food thrown to them by people passing by.

A few pairs of goosanders breed on the River Devon each year, and one of the joys of spring, is to find a mother giving a piggy-back to her young fluffy chicks.

This back-carrying is an endearing trait of goosanders and helps ensure the safety of the youngsters in their early days.

A small group of tufted ducks bobbed by a far margin of the pond, but they were much warier birds and kept their distance.

The tufted duck is an expert diver and can reach depths of 6ft or more, where they forage for a range of bottom-living invertebrates and water weed.

There was also a scattering of black-headed gulls present on the pond. They are incredibly elegant birds, with long slender wings and a buoyant flight.

In summer, they can often be seen flying low over lochs and rivers, hawking for mayflies and other insects, enthusiastically snapping them out from the air like giant swallows.