Mother Duck

Perhaps it’s merely old age slowing me down, but the longer I observe nature the more apt I am to spend long periods observing behavior rather than merely recording sightings

I know Mallards are so common as to be boring, but I paused five or ten minutes to watch this female with her young, trying to figure out whether she was chasing away stray ducklings who were tagging along or attempting to discipline her own progeny for floating amiss.

I’ll admit I was glad it wasn’t my job to keep track of this flock of ducklings because they were everywhere, 200 yards ahead of us, 100 yards behind, on the near bank, on the far, ducking first here, then there.

Adorable perhaps, but exhausting no matter how cute.

We spent another ten minutes watching this diminutive Marsh Wren trying to make himself as visible as possible, flashing his tail and singing with enough volume to drown out nearby red-winged blackbirds.

We debated whether it was trying to attract a mate or draw us away from a nearby nest.

Finally, Leslie spotted our all-elusive Green Heron, though we didn’t recognize it as such until we examined the photos on the computer.

Not surprisingly it bolted as soon as I pointed a lens at it. It seems certain that this will be this year’s Kingfisher, much pursued but seldom seen. A challenge to look forward to.