Latest update: 27th December 2016
Photos from the garden in 2016 of visiting mallard ducks, no nest yet this year. Unusually, a duck started arriving regularly in October.
Older Photos of Garden Ducks - 2015
27th February 2016, first visit by the ducks this year.
Almost certainly the same pair as recent years, since they were very comfortable with me near the pond.
Generally sleeping around being lazy.
Not even worried about the cat getting closer.
6th March 2016, rushing down the lawn in the morning if I did not feed them.
12th March 2016, but also boys visiting, here one is investigating the nest hole on the island.
Waiting for a female duck to return to the pond.
16th March 2016, sometimes more than two boys.
Even four boys, the bachelors often travel together.
The boys often follow each other swimming around the island.
22nd March 2016, first visit of a new female Mallard, much lighter colouring
than normal females and an almost totally orange beak. She
was nervious around people, initially flew away when I tried to feed her.
Usually visited with one male, but sometimes more than one.
31st March 2016, the bechelor gang is back today.
2nd April 2016, another visit from the new light grey female and her partner.
Closer photo of the unusual female mallard.
Normally the female beak is very dark coloured with a splash of orange, she is the opposite.
10th April 2016, today just boys.
13th April 2016, the new female is back with partner and extra male, they are
hungry and want to reach the fish food, but getting in the
water means the extra male with probably jump on her and try to mate.
So a little shuffling around trying to get to the food.
Now trying from the side of the pond.
Finally the extra male gets bored and sleeps on the grass, while the other
two have the water together. This was her last visit to the
pond in April, but saw an identically coloured female duck at Waddon Ponds a few days later, almost certainly the same duck.
17th April 2016, the regular pair of ducks are still returning to the pond
almost daily to feed, sometimes for a few minutes only,
sometimes staying for several hours.
They come back at dusk each evening and often stay for the night, so seems she is not yet sitting on a nest anywhere.
11th May 2016, a single boy regularly returns for food, and sometimes waits
for his mate. They come onto the lawn so they can be
easily seen from the house, and get fed.
17th May 20126, 7.30pm, a rare day light visit from a
female Mallard, usually she comes late in the evening or during the night, so is
sitting on a nest or looking after ducklings elsewhere. I put food out for her every night.
Back int he water eating.
They get fed bread and bird seed.
Can normally only feed bird seed after the pigeons have left for the night, otherwise they eat it all in minutes.
19th May 2016, a bachelor gang, once mating is over the girls essentially ignore the boys, who hang out together.
20th May 20126, 8:30pm, another rare visit from light grey female, only stayed for a few minutes, but possibly visits during the night.
Just about to fly off again.
7th June 2016, the female Mallard is still returning to the pond, mostly a night, but sometimes in the morning.
The island is so overgrown, not sure if she knows there is a prepared nest.
11th June 2016, always hungry.
21st June 2016, 8.45pm, the Mallards eating bird seed on the grass. Bird seed
does not float and the pigeons eat any on the grass
within a few minutes, so can only feed them after the pigeons have left for the night.
22nd June 2016, 9pm, the Mallards and foxes seem to tolerate each other.
The ducks will fly back into the water if the foxes get too
close, but are content to eat while they play.
3rd July 2016, 10am, the ducks were here all day, probably all night, and all
the following day. This suggests the female is not sitting on
a nest or looking after ducklings, but her mate being here also suggests a nest is a possibility, otherwise he would have left by now.
8th July 2016, back again in day light, they continued visiting until mid
July, but only for food in late evening. Don't expect to see them again
until next year.
15th October 2016, this was a surprise, a Mallard arrives looking for food,
and at the time of writing has been here almost every day for
Very rare to have ducks in the pond in the autumn, can only recall a couple
of single day visits in the past. Looks young, perhaps a
duckling from this summer.
Lighter colour than the female here in the summer. It could be the light grey duck that was here in the spring, but slightly darker.
Seems content here.
16th October 2016, sleeping on the island.
And now on the beach.
19th October 2016, waiting for breakfast. She is here almost every
morning for breakfast, and sometimes stays all day. Getting quite
tame, I'm able to use a large net to catch leaves in the pond, the sight of which normally causes everyone to fly away. The leaves
make it hard to see her from the house.
22nd October 2016, an afternoon of pond maintenence, all the planting baskets are on the lawn to
cut back the summer growth (which filled
a recycling wheelie bin) so the full width of the pond can be seen. Also cut back the island vegetation.
1st November 2016, the autumn Mallard is still arriving most days, always alone.
4th November 2016, same duck, warmer light.
7th November 2016, she's also prepared to eat with the pigeons on the lawn.
19th November 2016, last photo of the year, she was back most afternoons at
dusk unitl 12th December, not seen her since. Hopefully
she will be back early in the new year.
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