Life on the Pond

The last two weeks have been full of life and growth. There are four different Mallard families now. The Tufted Ducks are still here, so are the Coots. Haven’t seen any sign of babies, but they’ve been extremely shy this year.

Still, last Saturday I met these little guys.

One of the newer families last weekend.
One of the newer families last weekend.
There's always one adventurer.
There’s always one adventurer.

With so many single males around, there’s always someone to babysit while Mam rests a little.

Her babies are a little older, so she lets the males look after them.
Her babies are a little older, so she lets the males look after them.

The Gooseling Twins have grown every day and by the time I saw them last weekend, their personalities had begun to show. Spike is always a little dishevelled; the Princess is always fluffy.

A week old last Saturday, I have dubbed them Spike and the Princess.
A week old last Saturday, I have dubbed them Spike and the Princess.
I love this photo. He's like a young Raja.
I love this photo. He’s like a young Raja.

This past week, Trixie and Norton have brought the Twins further out onto the lawn.

With Norton close and Trixie not far away, the twins become feeding machines at 10 days old.
With Norton close and Trixie not far away, the twins become feeding machines at 10 days old.
It's 7:00am and the first feed of the day.
It’s 7:00am and the first feed of the day.

Yesterday, I visited again. The predators have been plenty this year. There are only two of the original duck family left.

There are predators about this year and the first brood of ducks is much smaller. There are only two left and they're very shy.
There are predators about this year and the first brood of ducks is much smaller. There are only two left and they’re very shy.

I had been curious to see if Spike and the Princess would still resemble the names I had given them.

Yesterday, they were two. Spike is on the right, the Princess on the left.
Yesterday, they were two. Spike is on the right, the Princess on the left.
I've started giving the family seeds. The Gooseling Twins figured it out first, then Trixie and Norton joined them.
I’ve started giving the family seeds. The Gooseling Twins figured it out first, then Trixie and Norton joined them.

I no longer give them any bread. Instead, I give them seeds. Much healthier for them all, and since some sink to the bottom, will help the Twins learn to forage.

Sadly, life is cruel in nature. This is one of the last photos I have of the Gooseling Twins.

Taken yesterday.
Taken yesterday.

This morning I looked out the window to see the families at their morning feed. I could only see one Gosling. I’ve watched all day and finally went out to the pond. Trixie and Norton were there but only one of the Goslings. They were a little on edge, but heads ducking in greeting, they came to me. I think the remaining Gosling is the Princess. But my hands were shaking too hard so none of the photos turned out.

It’s life; the cycle of life. We’ll never know what happened to any of the babies that have gone missing; ravens, a fox. We are sad today, however, at the loss of one of the Twins.

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