Tuesday, 9 June 2015

More ducklings

Lonely, the black hybrid female duck, hatched 10 ducklings two days ago but was soon down to seven.  She's doing quite well, under the circumstances, as she is frequently attacked by drakes and driven away from her youngsters.  The herring gull has also been patrolling the river at low level to snack on any duckling foolish enough not to stick close to its mum. Pike are also taking their share of young waterfowl including ducklings, moorhens, coots and very young cygnets.

Lonely and some of her brood hurrying away from an aggressive drake

I was surprised to see Lonely feeding from the table where the mandarin ducks like to be fed.  Over the years only three mallards have attempted to feed from there and she's a match for the mandarin ducks, seeing them all off.  I'm delighted to say that even the aggressive pigeon awaits his turn when she's around.

 Our cygnet seems to think it's a contortionist

Proud parents admiring their offspring

Following a discreet romantic interlude the swans face their youngster who appears to be singularly unimpressed.  The family calls round at least six times a day at the moment, mostly so that the cygnet can tuck into some wheat.

Flare Tail has been looking for a new nest over the last few days and this morning was checking out her old nest box and then the one on the other side of the garden deck.  I need to put more straw in that one if she's going to start laying more eggs.  

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