On my way to a business meeting, I dashed down to Dirty Creek with my longer lens to see if I could spy the family. I learned just today that they are to be referred to as a team of ducks. I spied them immediately coming down the ramp!
They are such an impressive site in the wild and I finally realized today that I've never seen a mallard with more than four duckings. The norm around here is more like two or three! To see this many is just amazing! It also makes our group really stand out and I know I'm looking at / rooting for the right team!
My very first shot was the best of the day but still a bit fuzzy:
I crawled through various bushes and hopped over three different streams trying and trying to get closer. They were always aware of my position and went far in the other direction. This is another blurry shot of them heading into the tall grasses to hide.
Determined to try and see them up close, I took the high road back toward the car and dropped down into the Eastern edge of the pond again. I stirred up some very loud doves and a long time resident of the pond, which scared the ducklings deeper into the grass:
The blue heron has been there a long time and for years was only spotted with a white crane. I thought they were just the oddest couple until two years ago when the crane had a family. This year, both have little ones...but oddly enough, they still hang out close to each other and often just one on one with the babies somewhere else. I like to think of them as long time besties!
I feel really good about this place, knowing the little team has a lovely shielded area to start learning to fly!