I know Mallards (especially in the wild) don’t subsist entirely on stale bread, my fingers or hand-outs, although opening the side hatch anywhere pretty soon conjures up a bunch of them demanding food with menaces. And I guess the book does say they’re omnivorous.
Even so, moored up in the jungle on the Oxford Canal between Heyford and Tackley, we were rather surprised to see a Mallard drake paddling along in a stately fashion with head held high, and a sizeable fish in his bill. He kept tossing his head upright in an attempt to align the wriggler with his throat just like a proper-job fish-eating seabird. He got there in the end too! Respect!