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New Arrivals!! 2014

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New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Safariman on Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:19 pm

"Spring has sprung, the grass is ris" etc. etc.
I was going to post this in the nesting swan thread however as it does not really concern the swans I thought a new thread was appropriate.
Making a cup of tea and looking out of my kitchen window yesterday afternoon I suddenly saw lots of tiny objects zooming round the pond at high speed like wind-up toys. They were in fact tiny ducklings, newly hatched and experiencing the water for the first time. The first brood of the year and just in time for Easter Grabbing my camera and some bread I went to investigate. To my amazement as well as a proud mum there were 14 little balls of fluff!! I managed to give them a little bread before the swans decided to intervene as they consider any food that is going should be their's!! There were only a few crumbs left so after inspecting me they moved off; swans are big hefty, intimidating birds particularly when they walk right up to you!! Mrs duck also decided to move off and decided to take her new brood across the pond and rather foolishly deposited them in the unoccupied swan's nest!! This was too much for the male swan who immediately swam across the pond to chase them off.
It is still very early in the year for new chicks and i don't put their chances of survival very high particularly when there are 14!! Here are a few photos and a short video.



How many ducklings?







There is always one chick that is completely plain!!



A proud mum and all her offspring!!



A swan comes to investigate







The swans, two male mallard ducks and a wood-pigeon at my next door neighbours front door demanding to be fed!!!


A quick update, this morning when I checked there were only 13 chicks!! Sad but surprisingly more than I expected. I managed to get some more photos and took some video which I will try and post tomorrow when I have had a chance to downloaded and edited them.

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  littlewid on Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:00 pm

  Doesn't that just make you smile  Very Happy  14 gorgeous chicks........I know we are now sadly down to 13  Sad  life is tough for the little ones, lets hope we are not on a regular countdown of them, I will be keeping my fingers crossed that Mrs Duck keeps hold of her remaining 13  I love you 
I love the little plain one, I always like the ones that stand out  Hugs  The video is wonderful, they are so busy aren't they but the swan came so close to them and when they were chased off the nest  affraid  mind you didn't they all look so comfortable there.
The photo outside your neighbours house is brilliant, they definitely see him as a good food source don't they, how lovely to open your curtains and see them all queuing up for breakfast   

That post has made my afternoon Safariman and I will really be keeping my fingers crossed that all the remaining chicks survive and I look forward to your next lot of photo's and video.......Easter Chicks   

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Safariman on Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:14 pm

Thanks LW. I must have made a mistake in my counting yesterday as when I checked again this morning there were still 14!! I find this quite amazing considering all the possible hazards the chicks face in their first few days. Mrs duck appears to be making temporary use of the swan's nest when they are not there but quickly moves out when they reappear, I suppose it provides I nice safe bed for her chicks but I don't know how long the swans will tolerate it!!
Some more pics and another short video.



Mrs duck and some of her chicks







Quack!!



A duckling with a very wet head










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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  littlewid on Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:32 pm

http://i70.servimg.c  I've never been so happy that someone has made a mistake but i'm glad you did Safariman  Very Happy  that's brilliant that there are still 14 of them, mum must be doing a grand job looking after them all, long may it continue because as you say, thy face a lot of dangers and anything can happen, but hopefully not.
Fantastic pictures, chicks are so photogenic aren't they, I love little wet head and the close ups of the other two chicks  I love you and it's good to see little odd ball with his sibling  Very Happy 
The video is just lovely, they are like little hoovers with the food aren't they, heads down, bottoms up and running around all over the place, so cute and also very chirpy as well, a great smile for me this afternoon  Very Happy 
Lets hope they don't annoy the swans too much by using their nest, it would be awful if the swans turned on them and depleted the brood  What a Face  so hopefully mum will be careful.

Thanks for all of that Safariman and hopefully some more updates will be on the way when you have pics and time  cheers 

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Safariman on Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:21 pm

Happy to report that all 14 are still going strong!! I am frankly amazed that they have all managed to survive for so long particularly as last night there was a frost. They are becoming a lot more adventurous, with Mrs. Duck bringing them out of the water and letting them wander around. They have quickly discovered that the best place for food is my next door neighbour and are happy to join everybody else outside their front door. The swans seem happy to tolerate them at the moment and they still share the same nest when the swans are away.
Some more pics to enjoy in the spring sunshine.



Waiting to be fed!!













The ducks with a moorhen in the background



Moorhen



3 of the ducklings on the water



The pond and and some of its' occupants looking resplendent in the spring sunshine.


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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  littlewid on Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:52 pm

WOW  I love coming home to news like that Safariman, that's brilliant news that all 14 of them are still there and doing well. They look very healthy don't they and im sure some of that is due to your neighbour feeding them all. Do you think the swans are tolerating them because there is a good food source and they don't have any chicks (oops cygnets) themselves yet? lets hope the happy feeling lasts amongst them all, life is much better without any squabbling!
So nice to see little odd ball, he looks slightly smaller than some of the others but that may be my imagination but he does look healthy. That's also a lovely looking Moorhen, is there any sign of Moorhen chicks at all?
I can only imagine how wonderful it must be for your neighbour to see them all waiting to be fed in the morning, I would love to open my door and see that lovely lot waiting for breakfast  Very Happy 
One question Safariman, obviously they are using the swans nest when the swans aren't but when the swans do, where do they hide out for safety? I hope they have somewhere to go to rest up and keep safe.
Those are another great set of pictures especially the one of the little chick with food in his mouth  Very Happy 

I have also decided that the little brown one can't be called odd ball as that's not so nice, he deserves a name I think and as he is one on his own ( which is very special in my eyes) I am gong to call him Solo if that's ok.

Thanks for another lovely update Safariman, I love catching up with them  cheers 

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Doogs on Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:03 am

Oh my word, those photos are amazing Safariman Again going to come back to this when I've more time to look at the pictures properly and take in all you've typed up but they are gorgeous little things  I love you I love you I love you I love you 
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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Safariman on Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:56 pm

Thanks LW, Doogs.
To answer your question LW, when the swans are in residence Mrs duck finds somewhere on the pond bank which will give some cover, normally not too far from the swans probably in the hope of getting some security from them. I think things will change once the swans start laying and incubating but there is no sign of that at the moment. They just continue to build their nest. The moorhens have not started nesting yet either so it is only the ducks that have any young.
Still 14 this morning!!!

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  littlewid on Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:49 pm

bounce  14 is music to my ears Safariman, it's just wonderful isn't it, maybe 24 is a magic number  Very Happy  Mrs Duck is obviously very sensible to keep them near the swans for protection and maybe that is why they are all surviving. Hopefully Mrs Duck will have the sense that when the swans lay and incubate things may change but then again the swans should understand that the chicks and Mrs Duck are no match for them or threat and will leave them alone and if Mrs Duck can stay fairly close to the swans other predators may stay away as the swans will be in real protection mode. It's all so lovely but also a concern isn't it when you want wildlife to do so well.
I take it that is not a lone Moorhen on the pond Safariman or is it? hopefully he or she has a mate there as well and in a few weekstime we will have Moorhen chicks like last year.
Thanks again for the delightful news on the 14, it really does make me smile loads.

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Laikipia on Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:38 am

http://i73.servimg.c  Safariman, lovely photos and updates and how amazing that 14 are still around and looking well. So far we have 0 but up north we are several weeks behind  Laughing 

Thanks for sharing.

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Safariman on Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:38 am

Thanks Lai.
All 14 present and correct this morning waiting by my garden gate to  be fed. This meant they had breakfast before I did!!!
They are now one week old!!
Happy Easter everyone.








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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  littlewid on Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:03 pm

  Those are the perfect Easter Pictures safariman, really cheerful and so is the news that there are still 14 of them  http://i70.servimg.c  and a HAPPY 1st WEEK BIRTHDAY little chicks   

Isn't it strange how animals always manage to get fed first  Very Happy  it's the same in my household Safariman...........those are clever chicks, Ducks and Swan you have there   

You have a good Easter Safariman.

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Laikipia on Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:13 am

http://i70.servimg.c   wonderful news, thanks for letting us know Safariman.

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Safariman on Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:37 pm

All (14) still present and correct this morning.
Having returned from my weekly shop at the supermarket which included extra bread, it was time to feed the occupants of the pond. It is getting quite tricky as the swans are around most of the time and tend to commandeer any food that is going. Fortunately Mr Swan was busy nest-building so I only had one to deal with one hungry swan!! After the ducklings had their fill Mrs. Duck took them on to the pond for a quick swim before returning to the bank to relax in the spring sunshine. For some reason the ducklings split into two groups with the majority settling down beside Mrs. Duck but two and then three formed a separate group a few feet away. Although it was quite warm they all cuddled up to one another in a great big fluffy ball. As with all big groups of small children there is always one who does his own thing. Today one decided he would stay on the pond and kept whizzing around until he eventually tired and reluctantly joined the others!!
The male swan got tired of nest building and joined his mate, fortunately I had kept back some bread so he did not miss out on the food!! Fingers crossed I think the female will soon start laying, once the male has built the nest to her satisfaction, as they seem to be almost permanently on the pond.
I have added a few pics of this morning's activities. I did take some videos but they will have to wait until I find time to edit them.







A hungry swan!!



Nest building



A group huddle



Split into two groups












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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  littlewid on Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:23 pm

http://i70.servimg.c   That is fantastic news Safariman. What with working all over Ester and being a bit tired I had not been on here and I had a fear that the number 4 may have dwindled so that has given me such a huge sile this evening to read they are all still there and doing so well by the looks of them, that is credit to Mrs Duck  Group Hug ........and your bread feeding I am sure   

The photos are lovely and it was so nice to see little Solo in the big huddle of chicks......he really is adorable.

It sounds as if Pond Politics are well sorted between the Swans and Mrs Duck and family, lets hope it all stays amicable when the swans have their cygnets and the Moorhens have chicks.
The Swan nest is looking rather huge isn't it, nice and soft and cosy for some little cygnets to arrive, lets hope the egg laying happens very soon.

Did you manage to get a video of the little one whizzing around on his own? I should imagine that was lovely to see, so nice that he was having fun, it's lovely to see wildlife doing what is natural and without a care in the world.

Look forward to the videos when you have some time but I appreciate its not a quick job.........so I will be patient  Very Happy 

I'm still smiling at the number 14  Very Happy 

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Safariman on Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:55 pm

Thanks LW.
Have managed to edit the video and (hopefully) downloaded it below, it shows the ducklings and the swans nest building.
This morning all the ducklings were together in a ball so unable to count them all!!! See photo. Mrs Swan seems to be on the nest most of the time now so she might have started laying but it is difficult to get close enough to have a good luck.
Will keep you posted on any progress.



Early morning huddle. How many ducklings?




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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  littlewid on Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:19 pm

Thanks Safariman, that was nice to come home to the video. It's quite a serene video isn't it and lovely to see them all just milling about and was that the male collecting more nesting material or was it Mrs Swan leaving the nest and collecting more? I thought it was the male who was nest building.
They really are a stunning pair of swans aren't they and hopefully as you say, Mrs Swan is now spending most of her time on the nest she may have started laying, that would be wonderful wouldn't it, but now will be the time the male will keep everyone away from the nest isn't it.

I think there are still 14 chicks. I looked at the picture on my phone and enlarged as large as you could without blurring it and although they are in a bundle I am sure there are 14 heads and tails in that bundle still and I hope I am right. It was good to see little Solo on the edge looking good. Hopefully tomorrow they will be a little easier to count and we will know for sure they are still all there but I have a good feeling they are.

Thanks again Safariman, i'm loving following them all and it was also good to see the little Moorhen swimming around in the video too.

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  whitestarling on Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:51 pm

 http://i73.servimg.c Sorry Safariman, only just caught up with this, after my Internet problems at home, and moving here to Dog/House sit. I've just gone through all the pics, and videos with Mrs S, and they are brilliant Mrs S loves the little Ducklings especially the one with hardly any markings, she always sticks up for the under Dog ( or should I say Duck  Very Happy ). That's great that they still have 14 it's a real battle for them to get their Ducklings through to survival, and also good news that they are now getting on with the Swans. A big thanks for making us smile tonight Very Happy , looking forward to more updates, and hopefully a Swan family as well

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Safariman on Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:44 pm

Sad to report that we have lost one of the ducklings over the weekend so there is now a baker's dozen!!! It is becoming difficult to count them as they are either all in a huddle together or spread out across the pond. This morning they were all in a huddle with mum keeping watch. She is the only female on the pond and she keeps getting some unwelcome attention from some of the male mallards!!
The swans are now spending nearly all their time on the nest with one or the other always there, so I guess eggs have been laid!! If the male isn't incubating the eggs he keeps busy gathering more and more material for the nest. It is turning into a mini skyscraper. Occasionally they will both have a swim on the pond or come lucking for food.
The moorhen seems to be on its own, so no moorhen chicks this year!! Sorry to hear that Lai's ducks are having a hard time but it seems to be the way it goes. If all broods were successful we would be overrun with ducks!!
A couple of photos I took this morning.



Mrs Duck and family



"A baker's dozen"



Incubating and nest building

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Laikipia on Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:28 am

Thanks for the update Safariman and it's sad that one duckling has gone but I am so impressed that the family is still so large. We have lost all but one duckling with one Mrs D and 2 with the other Mrs D. The males are a real pain and we have at least 8 resident at the moment and they are forever giving unwanted attention  No  which no doubt isn't helping the young who rush around and are sitting targets for the buzzards and occasional sparrowhawk.

It's so lovely to see your pics and clip and to know your pond is thriving with swans as well.

Thanks for sharing.

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  whitestarling on Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:41 pm

Your Pond is really doing well Safariman, great to see the Ducklings in a group  Group Hug especially after the devastation Lai has had with her Ducklings. It loos like the Swans are building a highrise   . Hopefully we will soon be seeing Cygnets before long
Thanks for the pics, and news

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Safariman on Fri May 02, 2014 2:32 pm

All 13 ducklings present and correct this morning!!!They are now 3 weeks old and growing quickly. They seem to be getting on well with the swans who are now constantly on the nest so hopefully we might have some cygnets come the beginning of June!!
Some more pics.







Happy famillies!! The swans and ducks relaxing together on the pond bank.



Mrs D with all 13!!





All the ducklings are growing up very quickly





Male Mallard duck with a damaged wing but seems to be coping ok!!


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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Laikipia on Sat May 03, 2014 12:05 pm

http://i73.servimg.c  Such wonderful news Safariman, and thanks for letting us know.  It's lovely to see your photos and the ducklings growing.  Also great that they are getting on with the swans, fingers crossed for cygnets soon, that will be fantastic news.

Poor male Mallard with his damaged wing, but good news he is coping.  They do seem to fight a lot at this time of year over the females so perhaps that is what happened?

Our females are still around although without any young now and they have paired up so I wonder if we might have more soon, I thought they only had one brood but maybe not?  

Thanks for sharing Safariman.  I'll post a short clip of our latest visitors soon.

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  whitestarling on Sat May 03, 2014 10:21 pm

 Brilliant pics again Safariman, and great news the Ducklings are still surviving so well. That's good that peace has broken out on the pond between the Swans, and the Ducks they have enough hassel to put up looking after their young. Hopefully the Male Duck will continue to do OK, but it must be awkward for it having a damaged wing like that. Fingers X lai you get some more lttle ones at your place

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Re: New Arrivals!! 2014

Post  Safariman on Mon May 05, 2014 12:14 pm

Interesting developments on the pond over the weekend. Mr Swan has decided he will no longer tolerate the ducklings on the pond and aggressively chases them!! I think Mrs Duck will have to move them possibly on to the nearby river. They seem to be ok on the bank of the pond but as soon as they enter the water he chases them. They are no longer around the pond all the time and the last couple of mornings I have not been able to find them. We they eventually turned up and I fed them some bread as soon as they went on the pond to drink the swan became aggressive. He also chased the moorhen so he is obviously becoming very protective of his space. All 13 ducklings still ok!!
Some photos of the swan.



Chasing the moorhen!!!










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