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Pond Life 2015

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Pond Life 2015

Post  Safariman on Wed May 06, 2015 11:37 am

It has been very quiet on the pond this year with sadly the swans not returning to nest. The resident moorhens chased off their offspring of last year to set up their own territories so apart from one of two mallards they have had the pond to themselves.
However that has all changed in the last couple of days. There are now three female mallards with their brand new chicks who have suddenly arrived on the pond. They have brought 3, 4, and 10 tiny chicks respectively plus the moorhens have also produced chicks but I have only seen one so they might have a problem. The pond has become very crowded and at times quite tense as the 3 females squabble as to who should have territorial rights. There has been much wing flapping and squawking.
How many chicks will survive is debatable as the local cats (not lynx) have been sniffing around and the mums I think might be first timers as they seem unsure how to look after their offspring.
These are a few photos I managed to grab but the weather has been atrocious with heavy rain showers and very strong winds. Hopefully I will get some more when the weather improves and if they survive!!



Mum + 3 chicks



On the water



One of the female mallards directing traffic on the pond!





Two brand new chicks



Mum with 9 of her 10 chicks



More wing flapping!!

SM
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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  Laikipia on Wed May 06, 2015 7:27 pm

Thanks Safariman, life on your pond is always wonderful and active. Sorry to hear about the swans but it looks like you've plenty of ducklings to watch. Let's hope they all survive.

Lai
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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  whitestarling on Thu May 07, 2015 12:09 pm

Great shots SM love the directing traffic, and the two new chick ones. It looks like a live of activity there. As I've said in chat our small pond now has five white Ducks who are tame, and a pair of visiting Mallards, but no sign of any ducklings yet. No photos for the same reason as yours terrible weather.

WS

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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  Safariman on Wed May 13, 2015 12:16 pm

Update from the pond.
The mallards are doing fairly well although we have lost some of the ducklings. One mum still has 9 and one mum still has 4. However the other female seems to have lost her 3. The moorhen's single chick is ok although the mum is now back on the nest incubating a second brood.
While looking around the pond this morning I came across a thrush chick on the ground. It appears to have fledged but was on the ground and not moving. I notified my neighbour who has an aviary and she is well used to handling birds and she has taken it in although she was not too hopeful on its chances of survival. It appeared unharmed but could not balance properly and made no attempt to fly away when picked up.



Moorhen on the nest



The female mallard with her nine chicks



Territorial disputes on the pond!!



Mum with her 2 ducklings sadly no longer around!!



Mrs Duck wing stretching





Baby thrush on the ground



The rescued baby thrush

SM
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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  Doogs on Wed May 13, 2015 1:44 pm

Yes you do have a wonderful pond there SM with lots going on. Beautiful ducks and their little duckies, so so cute I love you Fingers crossed they all grow up to be bit strong ducks/mallards !

Well done for saving the little thrush and very handy your neighbour is good with the birds. Please let us know how the little one gets on even if your neighbour wasn't very hopeful Crying or Very sad
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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  Laikipia on Thu May 14, 2015 10:15 am

Lovely update Safariman, shame about the baby Thrush, fingers crossed it makes it.

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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  whitestarling on Thu May 14, 2015 10:58 am

Really great photos again SM the detail your getting is amazing, I really enjoy seeing them. The predation rate on the duckling is terrible, I'm surprised any survive at all, its only because of the number they have that offsets the number that make it. Hopefully the baby Thrush will survive you, and your neighbour have both done your best to give it a chance.

WS

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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  Safariman on Sat May 16, 2015 11:35 am

Sadly the thrush didn't make it and died soon after it was rescued!!

WS, I have found that the most important part of taking well detailed photos is the lens and that is where I spend my money. I think it is far better to have on ordinary camera body with a really good lens rather than a super body and only an ordinary lens. If you can afford both, so much the better!! I also think that you do not need a camera with a huge mp count. My own has 16mp count and that is more than enough for being able to crop down the finished photo for printing to a decent size. Unless you are a professional or producing prints for billboards etc. you do not the 25mp+ cameras. The file sizes become enormous and take up a huge amount of storage space so I will stick to the one I have and concentrate on the lens capabilities!!

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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  Doogs on Wed May 20, 2015 2:01 pm

Awww that's a shame SM, thanks for letting us know though :o(
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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  Safariman on Thu May 21, 2015 11:29 am

Some more photos of the mallard ducklings and Mrs Moorhen on her nest!



One of the mallards with her ducklings





Mrs Moorhen on the nest



Mallard duckling



SM
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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  whitestarling on Thu May 21, 2015 12:30 pm

Great photos again SM. Real shame about the the Thrush, but you , and your neighbour did your best. Completely agree about the Lens, always has been, and always will be the most important part of any camera. I learned that in the Photographic Dept at Rolls Royce Crewe where I first started work as an apprentice photographer. My camera is only a cheapy really Fiuji Film 15mp but it does what I want.

WS

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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  Safariman on Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:12 pm

Update from the pond:
One female mallard still has 8 ducklings and there are 2 other females who have 4 between them. Not sure if they belong to just one of the females as they are both always together.
The moorhens still have the one chick from the first brood however yesterday I was lucky enough to see the start of the hatching of the second brood. One new tiny chick was already in the water and I could see a second chick struggling to get out from underneath mum on the nest. The female stood up and left the nest and went into the water and encouraged the chick to join her. When the newly hatched chick was safely in the water she then returned to the nest to carry on incubating the remaining eggs. It was a fascinating insight into moorhen behaviour!!



The newly hatched chick scrambles out from underneath mum!!



Mum leaves the nest encouraging the chick to follow



Chick follows mum out of the nest



Mum returns to the nest to carry on incubating remaining eggs



Newly hatched chick starts to explore its new world

SM
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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  Laikipia on Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:00 pm

Thanks for the updates from your pond Safariman. Good to see what's going on and what a shame about the baby Thrush.

I have great news that all 12 of our ducklings are all doing well, they are huge now and like a plague of locusts in the garden. Mrs D must be exhausted from keeping them safe. Our other Mrs D has two and they are doing well and growing. Some evenings the garden is awash with wildlife and a joy to watch.

You must be off soon Safariman?

Thanks for sharing all your news and photos.

Lai
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Re: Pond Life 2015

Post  whitestarling on Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:56 am

That's a wonderful moment to have captured SM, seeing the second chick getting out of the nest, and into the water for the first time, those are rewards of being a nature lover. Thanks for sharing them SM. Great to hear you have son many chicks still going Lai. Three of our female Aylesbury Ducks are we belive sitting on eggs, but we don't know where they are on the site. We have seen the male visiting one particular spot, but its so thick with plant life that we cant see where he goes when he gets in, and we don't want to disturb them, Doris the first Duck to vanish, and nest has been missing for a month now so we are hoping she's OK, and we will see ducklings soon

WS

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