Dead ducks, homosexual necrophilia, and the importance of anecdotes

The wonderful world of anecdotes is often scorned by scientists.  Leading journals demand tightly controlled studies with a priori justifications, and this approach has sidelined some of the more interesting and peculiar aspects of academic.  For example, I have a couple of articles that describe trends through space and time in the presence of dragonflies using databases that were collected by enthusiasts in the field.  These kinds of observations are the bedrock of natural history, for example, where initial anecdotes spur pilots studies which result (if the data is supportive) in fully-fledged grants. Another important anecdote was recorded on 5th June 1995, and it has been immortalised with its own (admittedly slightly niche) holiday.  You can see Dr Kees Moeliker talking about his homosexual necrophiliac mallard here: