Latest update: 27th June 2011
Photos from the garden in 2010 and 2011 of visiting mallard ducks, but no
nest or ducklings for these two years. There have been
regular visits from female ducks early in the spring, but they must either have better nesting sites already lined up, or maybe
are not ready to breed yet. Not seen any mating on the pond these two years either.
20th March 2010, early visit with the female investigating the island and the
newly prepared nest whole with lots of straw ready to
make a nest. Unfortunately she does not seem interested, maybe does not realise it's now her nest. Because last year's female
was killed, this must be a new female.
The new female and her mate feeding on the lawn.
May 2010, three boys in the pond, with a lot of blossom from the tree.
The female had stopped returning in late April hopefully had
found another nest site. The males stopped returning mid June.
24th February 2011, the boys started returning two weeks earlier, there were four boys a few days later.
17th March 2011, first visit from a female mallard, she did spend increasing
long periods of time in the pond, several hours a day,
but never showed any interest in the nest hole on the island.
Exploring the pond.
Yet again the island duck nest hole is prepared with lots of fresh straw, but the female shows little interest in it.
20th March 2011, the female is exploring the stream, looking for small
crustaceans to eat for the calcium, which is need for egg
shells. There are some new pond plants in baskets, to replace all those eaten by the ducklings two years ago.
Sitting quietly on the island, but ignoring the nest hole.
Fortunately they also ignore Lucy the new dog, provided she does not run at
high speed toward them. Never did find out if dog and
duckling would co-exist in the garden.
The female spent a few long days in the pond, but visits reduced in early
April, and the last visit was in the dark at 4.30am on
20th April 2011. She was probably sitting on a nest elsewhere, and just came back to the pond for food.
Two boys continued returning two or three times a day for food until June, but no long periods in the pond.
The vegetation on the island is profuse this spring, just a pity there are no
ducklings to eat it. There is also a lot of duck weed in the
pond, it can be seen around the island edges, which is virtually impossible to get rid of.
17th June 2011, first visit from a female Mallard in almost two months. At
least I think it's a female, but it could be a two month old
duckling on one of it's first flights. The duck spends six hours in the pond feeding, although the boy left after a few minutes, so
probably not a mate.
The possible female Mallard sleeping on the island, which is now so heavily vegetated it would make a wonderful nest.
23rd June 2011, the female Mallard returns on her own again, very hungry, but
leave after a good meal, probably returning to her
ducklings somewhere else.
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