Sunday, June 30, 2013
With the hot weather lately, it meant less gulls flying around trying to snag ducklings and less brooding issues for mama ducks. So, after 5 days, Snowie still has five ducklings.
Here is one of her ducklings happily diving for food. you just barely see his feet.
Later, there was a family with a well-behaved little girl feeding the babies. The little girl wanted to pet the ducks, but her parents taught her otherwise and everything ended up being a great experience for everyone.
The ducklings got so close to me, they were practically running and pecking at my feet. They were also too close to get a photo.
So, I sat down and took some photos of them:
There was one extra tired one who kept laying down and not eating that much.
Dad Snowy was there, too! Here's a couple of ducklings hanging out with Dad.
"Look at my gigantic feet! I'm going to be big!"
A crow came by and Snowie thought it was best to move her babies away.
There was also another family of 7 day-old ducklings. They almost got mixed with Snowie's babies and Snowie attacked one of them. But, it was OK and went back to his mama.
For some strange reason, the baby coots were all by themselves. I have no clue where their parents were.
The two ducklings that the kids were throwing rocks at last week were found in another area alive and well. The smaller one has almost caught up in size to the larger duckling.
We still have one ruddy duck at the lake and it's getting more active. I thought it was an old male because it seemed to be getting into its breeding colors, but was not able to do so. But, now, I think it might be a female. She was flapping her wings a lot and flying around near the coot family (who have one chick). I think she was lonely and, maybe, a little warm.
I also wanted to mention that I found this southern Pacific rattlesnake right at the bench where the crowd of kids were throwing rocks at the ducks last week. Most people didn't see the baby snake and he was really sluggish. I prodded him with a stick to see if he would be annoyed enough to move more into the brush, out of sight. (That is why he's in a defensive posture) But, I think he was just too sluggish and I didn't want to push my luck and get bit, so I let him be. He did move a few inches over near where there was more grass.
Several minutes after I left him, a lady who frequently walks her small dog at the lake on one of those retractable leashes (and finds it fun for her dog to chase ducks and harass the geese as well as letting him run all over the place almost uncontrolled), sat down at the bench. Fortunately, she held the dog in her arms while she sat on the bench instead of letting him run around like she usually does. I don't even think she ever saw the snake.
There were only a couple of ducks in the area and when one flew and landed in the water near the bench, another female came up and fought with her, pushing her out of the area. Then, they both moved away and were fine with each other.
By the way, baby rattlesnakes are a lot more dangerous than the adults due to the fact that they haven't learned to control their venom output. I also heard another rattler around the 1 mile mark about 5 feet off the path. The rattlers are having babies just like everyone else.
In other news, I thought I heard "family calls" from the killdeer in the ballfield area. I think that Squeak and Pollux might have had babies and I'll check it out next time I'm there. Also, Fish Food Mama's babies are breaking up and some of them are out exploring. And, Bigboi and Bumblefoot are doing better than expected in the hot weather. Both ducks have health issues that make me worry about them.
And, a reminder, there is NOT going to be any fireworks at the lake this year just like last year. I don't know about next year. No musicfest, either. I'm not sure about any fun-runs.