Saturday, April 27, 2013

A bakers dozen.

Upon arriving at the pond  this morning, I found that we had a new mallard family on the water. Mom, Dad and 13 ducklings.

 The other ducks on the pond were not playing nice today. Mom and dad had to chase off a couple of drakes that were too interested in the ducklings, and Mom duck. So mom duck decided, I 'm out of here.

  Up the bank they go.

Along the sidewalk.

Across the play ground

And into the grass

They hopped into the man made creek just above this waterfall, and kept going.

  I think she is headed for the smaller pond about 100 yards away. It is usually a quite location. but today...this was happening.

 the pond is right behind the gray structure (see red arrow ) tents and tables all the way from me to the pond.

 They kept going even though it was getting louder and more humans were about. See how small they are?

 The pond at the top of the water fall is the destination. The event is just out of the picture to the left. To get to the pond, they had to go overland again.

 So up the bank and under the oak tree and up another bank to the pond. In go mom and dad, the little guys had quite a time of it. As I learned from little lost duck, newly hatch ducklings have a hard time with curbs.

 After about 3 minuets every one finally flutter-flopped themselves up and into the pond.

  Now the upper pond has sort of become  a bachelor hang out, and as soon as the female duck hit the water, the drakes went all cave-man duck...WOMAN!

 Dad duck had his hands, or, wings full. It got bad enough that mom duck took off into the air with 8 drakes following her, one friendly, seven not.

This left 13 ducklings alone on the pond. And at the very moment, crow landed on a rock beside the pond, I swear I heard it say "Sweet."
 Meanwhile , mom duck had circled the pond and dove in low under the huge oak tree, that got rid of a few of her followers, I heard some scuffling and quacking, then she and dad duck appeared at the edge of the pond and she did the mom duck call. The ducklings bunched up and did a 180 out in the middle of the pond and headed for mom and pop.
  Crow, of course, was liking this because they were coming right toward him. He started to walk along the rock toward the little things, thinking he was going to get a tender little morsel...but dad duck was like, no way ...
 he hissed and came up out of the water flapping his wings. Crow decided to leave. Dad duck is watching crow in this picture.

Eventually, everything settled down. I don't know  how long that will last as the event goers had spied the duckings and were coming to take their pictures.


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