Though Mallard ducklings were seen by other birders as early as the end of February, these little beauties were my first of the year. Eight little bundles of fluff and their mother were tucking in to a soggy slice of bread thrown to them by some boat owners in a local marina. Awwwwwww!
David Gledhill said:
I saw a mallard duck with thirteen chicks swimming a long in the Esk a few weeks ago. No sign of absent father – as usual. That’s certainly the most I’ve seen in one brood. I really don’t want to go back to see how they’re going, as with all the various gulls and herons around, I fear that nature will have balanced things out a little. I suppose it has to really, otherwise we’d be knee deep in ducklings.
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That’s a huge brood! I can certainly understand your reluctance to revisit – they’re just a mouthful to the larger gulls when they’re tiny but, as you say, though we might find it sad, it’s how Nature works.
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