Last year, the pair of Australian Wood Ducks successfully raised eleven ducklings to maturity, and we were hoping they would be able to do the same for the twelve ducklings in this year’s brood. The ducks frequently walk from wherever they nest to the grass verge in front of the dam to forage, and this gives us an opportunity to check numbers. Twelve days ago we noticed there were only ten ducklings, and today there were nine.
Looking at their healthy growing bodies, they don’t lack food, so I guess the culprit is a fox, an owl or a raptor of some description.
Fluffy ducklings are an irresistible photographic opportunity, so I hope you don’t mind indulging me with these shots. The first four were taken on 28 September and show ten ducklings. The second four were taken today and nine.
In the next four photos, taken today, you can see how much they have grown over the last twelve days. Before we know it, they’ll be flying!