Our Sebastopol, California Pond's 21st year - 2016
Duck Encounters of the Best Kind!!

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Duck Encounters of the Best Kind!!
(click any image to see it expanded and/or enlarged)

LOOK who showed up for April Fool's day!! NO FOOLIN'!! This is the 2nd time this pair of Mallards have showed up on April 1st!
And the other time was the very first time they surprised us with a visit- 1998.
We hadn't seen them in several years and had been worried about them, but it seems that they must have been AOK and at a place where they had become habituated to humans!
We've often been visiting elsewhere early in April, so perhaps we'd just missed them for a few years in a row. They used to fly away if they saw any moment at all in the house. This visit they were even OK with our going outside and taking photos of them, so we took A LOT!!
Click on ANY of the 'thumbnails' below to see the image expanded and/or enlarged. They are just so beautiful enlarged.
As you can see in the enlarged images, they are totally aware that we are present and watching them!!

We're glad you came to see the whole set of images!!

Even our cat Callie was intrigued by the mallards. The much drabber female (hen) was always guarded by the male (drake), and it was amazing at how well her camouflage worked! Sometimes I have to look at a photo twice to find her. We were just amazed at their lack of shyness. We wonder if maybe they spend the summers at a park where people are quite constantly there and in that way they have become 'tame'. They seemed to take turns, you'll notice that they never BOTH had their heads under water! If the drake fed, the hen was on lookout! My last image in this set is a portrait of the drake. He is just sooo handsome! Note his curly-cue tail feathers. That's a good way to identify a mallard.

The pair of mallards spent quite a time feeding in the pond. I tried not to think about how many dragonfly nymph they were eating!!
Mallards are not diving ducks, they dabble. And, often all you see as they feed is the tail end of the duck sticking up. A local group of docents wrote a song about this to use in the classrooms. It's titled "Butts Up!" and the little boys especially enjoy singing it. I love it!! Since we weren't scaring them away, even when we went outside, we finally just had to stop photographing them and get on with life! In fact, later we looked out and they'd gone out onto the lawn to feed, and even later yet we found them back in the pond!

They stuck around several days and we took off for a week at our McCloud home. When we returned, they had moved on. Here's a parting shot of Mr. Curley Cue!!


Click here to go back to the Spring 2016 images.