Let sleeping ducks lie

Several weeks passed before I was able to check on the progress of our three mallard ducklings again, and in this time the trio had transformed almost beyond recognition into fully fledged young ducks. At around two months old they were now able to fly and were nearing their independence. Although still lacking their distinctive…

New arrivals

With autumn just around the corner and the mallard drakes of Aberystwyth harbour already moulting into their eclipse plumage signalling the end of the breeding season, it looked as though I had missed the opportunity to meet any ducklings this year. It was therefore a very pleasant surprise last week to stumble across a brand…

Late arrivals

Summer is almost at an end and the breeding season is now over for much of our wildlife. The mallards here in Aberystwyth however appear to be having a late boom, with several new broods including this adorable bunch I encountered a few days ago. After the disappointment of the mute swans’ breeding failure this…

Patience pays off

After weeks of relentless rainfall the sun has finally returned to Aberystwyth, just in time for the beginning of summer! Taking up my usual uncomfortable (and slightly damp) seat on the slipway beside the harbour edge this morning I soaked up some much needed sunshine whilst waiting to see what birdlife might appear. An hour…

Fight for survival

Sadly it seems that the failure of last year’s mallard ducklings to survive is set to repeat for a second year. Just a day after the ducklings left the safety of their nest before my very eyes (see here), only one duckling remains at it’s mothers side. The others were most likely predated by the…

Baby boom!

It’s 1st of June, also the first day of meteorological summer and it seems that today is the day for a baby boom! Almost exactly a year to the date from the arrival of last year’s cygnets, this summer the Mute Swan pair have successful hatched five tiny babies. Hopefully this bigger brood will increase…

Hard times for wildfowl

It appears the breeding season hasn’t yet come to an end for at least one of our local mallard females as she surprised me last week by turning up with four fluffy ducklings in her wake. The youngsters could not have hatched more than a day or so ago as most, if not all still…