Last Update: 20th May 2008
This page has various photos from 1999 to 2006 of the garden pond and duck
visits, including a mandarin duck that arrived for a few
weeks one spring. There are also photos of the first ever duck nest in 2005, from which a fox stole all the eggs (captured on CCTV).
It's quite probably the same duck that nested again in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
This photo is from 1999, in the old pond before the island was built, three male and one female mallards.
A mandarin duck arrived to stay with usual mallards for a few weeks in April
2004. Although from Siberia, there are colonies in Sussex
and central London, this one probably saw the pond flying over.
Four mallards sizing each other up.
The mandarin duck was a bully, and became the mallard's partner, mating with her
and chasing her normal mate out of the pond.
But there were no eggs, probably incompatible.
Follow my leader around the lawn.
Taken in late July, three males and one female (top), one of the males has moulted
most of his grey feathers and now looks very
similar to the female.
They don't mind the plank.
Mating pair of mallards.
The mallard sitting on her first nest on the island, in June 2005. It's quite probably the same duck that nested again in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Several eggs in the 2005 nest.
At 5am one morning one of the foxes saw both ducks sitting on the end of the island and
jumped onto the island, the ducks just
swam to the safety of the water, but the fox then nosed around and found the nest by accident. Over one hour, the fox took away
one egg at a time, jumping the fence and presumably taking them back to feed her cubs.
The fox taking another egg. The ducks just watched from the water.
A week later I put some cane on the island to make it harder for the fox to
jump, but the duck did not use the nest again, July is just too
late for them. The male has moulted most of his grey feathers.
A rogue male trying to mate with the female, while her partner tries to get him off,
usually happens in the water when it's much harder
In 2006 I'd added a duck nesting box to the island, the steps to which can
be seen here, but there was no nest that year.
Males always get on well when there are no females around.
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