After a picnic with our family at Cavendish Grove, I went in search of the geese and goslings my husband and I had been following since May. Instead of geese, I found ten ducklings and their mother. I have seen numerous ducks before but never ducklings. They were an exciting find.
The ducks were in the pond which has an island with a nest area used by Canada geese every spring. The mother and her trail of ducklings came from among the bulrushes. The pond is full of greenery now compared to its spring look as the bulrushes have grown in for another year. Now too, much of the water is covered in what appears to be duckweed.
The ducklings are balls of fluff with lemon-yellow and brown heads, white and brown backs. I watched their mother for several minutes before I could identify her as a Mallard by the blue band, trimmed with white on her flight feathers. Like many female ducks, she is mainly brown and white.
Unlike male geese, male Mallards don’t help out with the young. There was a male in the pond however. He ignored the female and the ducklings and was rather elusive darting through the bulrushes.
He looked bedraggled because he was molting. Ducks molt the same as geese do while their young are growing. Male Mallards resemble the females when they are molting, losing their bright feathers. The best photo I took of the male, shows how he is losing the green feathers from his head. The female appears to have started molting too if the tail feathers are any indication.
It will be interesting to watch there ducklings grow over the next several weeks if they stay in the area.