We all marveled at how she has been able to keep eight ducklings alive in this area for four days, right where the other mothers in this area have had theirs all eaten by this age.
I passed a great egret (about the size of a blue heron) at the lake, earlier, but he was really far from this family, so I didn't worry.
I took pictures of all of them, but couldn't get them all together. I then walked on. They all moved towards the boat docks, running around in the rocks. About twenty minutes later, I saw a great egret take off close to where I last saw the ducklings. I didn't see anything in his bill, but it did look like he had recently swallowed something. He sure was trying to get out of that area really fast.
When I got to another area where I could see the ducklings through my binoculars, I counted only seven. At a couple of other spots, I checked again, and only spotted seven ducklings. Until, finally, I found them and confirmed that one duckling was gone. I think it was the duckling in the front of this photo:
Here he is again, in front of these two black ducklings. He was always running ahead of everyone else and I think he was the smallest.
Later, I got photos of the remaining seven ducklings:
Mom with six of the seven ducklings, including the four remaining regular colored ones. The other black one was lagging behind. He seems to be the weakest.
I hope that's the last of the ones that go missing. This is a critical age as it was at this age that several other mothers lost most or all of their ducklings. Fish Food Mama is taking a risk with raising them in this area. But, they are growing bigger and faster. Hopefully, Mama made it difficult for the egret so that he will think twice about trying to catch another duckling. Usually, he's not in that area and, hopefully, mama will not let him get away with getting another one in the future.
No sign of any other ducklings in the area.
The killdeers haven't been as active lately and I usually only see the three males in the one ballfield each time I visit there. However, I swear I saw Miracle and her daughter in that field for a brief time this morning. Killer Jr. and Miracle's daughter would be about seven or eight weeks old now. About ten minutes later, I saw the three boys, again.
Someone asked me how Jill was doing with her Canada goose boyfriend. They seem to be doing OK, but I still don't think the Canada goose acts much like her boyfriend. He was following her around a little today, though.