Latest update: 9th January 2019
Photos from the garden in 2018 of visiting mallard ducks, no nest yet this year, last ducklings were in 2009, so long ago
Older Photos of Garden Ducks - 2017
28th February 2018, waking up to a white garden, been a few years since we had this much snow.
And even longer since the weather was cold enough for long enough for the pond to partially freeze over.
2nd March 2018, the flow of water from the pumps and stream stop the ice reaching the whole pond, which is good for the fish.
3rd March 2018, even rarer for the ducks to return while there is snow, hunting for bird seed on the grass.
One girl and three boy Mallards.
All four ducks eating bird seed.
Still here, setting down.
Still sitting on the bank.
First time in all the years ducks have been coming here I've seen them skating on the ice.
Next day, snow is mostly melting in the sun, but still ice on the pond.
No idea why the ducks prefer the ice to the water.
7th March 2018, not long before the weather is cold, wet and miserable again. Ducks come close to kitchen to remind me to feed them.
8th March 2018, I can only feed bird seed on the grass at dusk when the
pigeons have left, otherwise they eat it within seconds. But
the crows are more patient.
While the ducks eat their bird seed, the fox has dog food.
12th March 2018, the girl duck has a mate, who spends a vast amount of time trying to keep other boys away from her.
17th March 2018, ducks sitting on the pond island while the ducks eat dinner.
The mate has just forced a second boy from the water, while a fox appears, so the boy jumps back in the water, and the whole thing repeats.
A little dangerous being away from the water, but the fox is more interested in dinner than ducks.
18th March 2018, gets a little more complicated with two foxes watching the ducks, but they seem to co-exist.
20th March 2018, three ducks flying out of the pond together, the girl always leads.
31st March 2018, three ducks eating seed on the lawn while three foxes eat dog food, in the rain.
4th April 2018, chasing arounfd the lawn continues, while the female tries to stay out of harm's way.
17th April 2018, sometimes the two boys are well behaved and tolerate each other.
24th April 2018, some days the bachelor boys come looking for food.
25th April 2018, three foxes eat dinner while the ducks eat seed on the lawn, in the distance.
3rd May 2018, three boys again eating bread.
5th May 2018, bachelor boys back again, getting ready to take off.
Off they fly.
10th May 2018, the mating pair keep their distance from the second boy.
But then decide to return to the pond, while the second boy is in the way.
So a garden case starts, wire to protect the newly plated bedding plants restricts where the boys can run.
Some pecking through the strawberries.
Back to the hedge.
Then both boys disappear behind the ivy trellis, and finally reappear near the top pond.
15th May 2018, morning are calmer, when all three ducks are happy to eat together.
And then sleep close to each other, for safety.
And then alll three sit together away from the water, probably trying to
avoid any other boys that arrive. No nest or eggs here yet this year,
the girl may have a nest elsewhere, but currently spends too long in this garden to be incubatibng eggs or looking after ducklings.
24th May 2018, three foxes waiting for dinner, while the ducks sit on the
island waiting for their bird seed, which I can only feed at dusk
once the piegons have left, otherwise the eat it without seconds.
5th June 2018 - three boys today.
16th June 2018 - 7am, boy duck sleeping, watched by girl, waiting for breakfast.
Back in the water when a fox also arrives for breakfast. The pair were here
for up to 15 hours a day for much of June, suggesting she is
not looking after a nest elsewhere.
21st June 2018 - sleeping peacefully in the sun waiting for breakfast again.
But notice me as I get closer, always have an eye half open to watch for predators.
26th June 2018 - the boy Mallard is now moulting his grey feathers and will turn brown for a few weeks in summer until they grow back.
7th July 2018 - both Mallards sleeping in the water lillies, which have
enjoyed the hot and sunny weather. They returned for a couple of
hours each day for a week, then disappeared to wherever they spend the rest of the year.
28th October 2018 - surprise autumn visit from the ducks, only here for less than an hour until they got breakfast.
Also two more days, must not be getting food elsewhere.
20th November 2018 - just the boy Mallard today, again very rare to see ducks in November, did not seem hungry.
10th December 2018 - the boy is still making short visits, perhaps looking for his mate?
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