I got an email at work, “We have babies!!!!”
I thought he meant the Canada Geese, but it was the Mallards. Which makes sense, because I’m relatively certain that my first pictures of the Goslings was early/mid May last year.
Anyway, he was out when I got home from work, but he’d left me a note: Go see the babies.
The first shots aren’t very good. A little out of focus and not always well framed, but these are new born ducks. They move like skittle bugs across the water.
At first we thought there were only two or three, but there are five. Two days later I got these photos.
Then yesterday, I took out the Fuji and decided it was time to keep learning on it. The dog and I headed to the pond and slowly, approached where Mama and her babies were hiding in the shade.
I watched carefully, because Mama had turned her back and there’s always one that slips away.
And where one goes, the others usually follow it seems.
Something startled them back into cover. I’m not sure what it was, perhaps the sun glinted off my lens or the dog turned her head. Still, already they are learning what to do.
One breaks cover to go to Mama, not far away. The resulting photograph gave me an insight into why the ducklings have such bright yellow faces when yellow doesn’t figure very prominently in the adults.
The whole time the little one swam toward her, Mama watched.
The others stay in hiding, as they’re supposed to.
And then, one slips quietly forward and where one goes …
We missed this last year and I had often wondered how early the ducklings were born that they were so large when I first saw them toward the end of May last year. Now I know.
My guess is that given the timing of my first photos of the Goslings last year, they will be next. However, as I stood up and continued my walk, I saw this. She’s in the same spot as last year and by the end of May, I’ll be looking at the baby Coots.
I’m looking forward to the coming months, watching the little families grow.