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Ducks enjoying a late afternoon swim on the beautifully reflective dam. I think the dark coloured duck is a Pacific Black Duck, but it may be crossed with a Grey Teal. The neck and head markings are paler than most Pacific Black Ducks I’ve seen around here.

The late afternoon sun produced beautiful reflections on the surface of the dam, today.  A group of six Australian Wood Ducks were enjoying the water with one duck of a different species.  It looks like a Pacific Black Duck, but the neck is paler than I recall from previous visitors. It is possible it may be a cross with another breed of wild duck. Possibly a Grey Teal?

At first I thought the Australian Wood Ducks were going to drive the other duck away.  Despite a bit of loud calling and some splashing, they appeared to be swimming together without incident.

As far as I can tell, these six ducks are not part of our family of nine. Just after I wrote the post celebrating the fact that the ducklings could fly, the family disappeared.   This coincided with the arrival of three pairs of ducks.  It is impossible to know if the family were chased away or if they just decided to fly off to greener pastures.  On one occasion I saw a group of nine ducks on the opposite side of the dam, but it was too far away to make any detailed observations.

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These three male and three female Australian Wood Ducks seem to have taken over the territory formerly occupied by the family of nine ducks.

It is fortuitous the ducks showed up today, as I didn’t find very many flowers to photograph. A dry Spring has resulted in a shortened flowering period for most plants.  The lack of rainfall over Winter and Spring has also resulted in very dry bushland and much lower dam water levels.

In the photograph below it is possible to see how much our dam has dropped.  When we moved in, the clump of rushes high and dry on the upper level of the sand bank were completely submerged, with the water level almost reaching the green vegetation around the rim.  We are going to need months of heavy rain to fill it to that level again. Fortunately, we don’t use it for household water. Here’s hoping for a wet 2015!  Happy New Year.

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Low rainfall has seen the water level in the dam drop significantly. When we moved in, almost no sand was visible.