Though I haven't been at Lake Murray the last few days, when I last saw them, these three ducklings were still plugging along. Each day their mama was taking them on longer and longer distances, even going beyond the fence line. They were constantly moving. On the last day I saw them, I believe she had taken them out of the area. This was her same pattern the last two years. If you haven't seen them, it's possible they are no longer visiting the parking lot area regularly. You may go a while without seeing them and depending on the time of day you visit, you may not see them again until they're fully feathered.
Meanwhile, Miss Una has done what was expected and moved her ducklings down to the other end of the lake. She managed to keep two of them so far. Last time I saw her, she was being hassled by the drakes. I only could truly see one duckling, but I think I saw the other one duck in the reeds.
Miss Una's mother was last seen with three ducklings. The next day, I saw two all by themselves without their mother. However, as I was watching them, they completely disappeared. There were no predators in the area. I saw a woman bending down at the water's edge, but I think the ducklings were not nearby, and even if they were, they would not be easy to catch.
Sadly, after my last post with the gosling photos, Squeaker's little baby disappeared.
Other birds are still hanging around and should be migrating soon. This is an eared grebe in breeding plumage.
Least sandpipers visiting:
There is a female spotted sandpiper being rather co-operative. A male is hanging out nearby and they may be bonded mates or a new mate for her to travel back to the breeding areas with.
Last Sunday, I came across these two Cayuga ducks hiding in the brush near the front entrance. They were dehydrated and very hungry. The female was in distress as well. I was going to introduce them to the water, but decided that, since there was a female and they tend to die real fast here, I would catch both and take them with me to see if I could find a home for them.
The male is extremely gorgeous with a LOT of green. This photo does no justice to his gorgeous colors. He was quite the gentleman to his girlfriend and his personality was mellow as is common for the breed. The female duck was a diva and made lots of demands with me. She would scream unless you made her happy. Then, she would be very quiet. Because I live in an apartment with a strict no pets policy, and I have allergies, I couldn't keep them. So, I took them to the animal shelter. After a five-day hold (for health and to give the owner a chance to come get them), they were put up for adoption. They were adopted within hours of being listed.
They left me an egg as a present.