I thought you might like to see a few photos of the ducklings at one week old. We have a small ornamental pond that is fenced off from the ducks (the ducks have their own watering system). At one stage, after seeing a combined fish and hydroponic system at a garden show, we considered getting trout for our pond. We did some research and spoke to the local trout farms down in Tumut and decided that the pond wasn't deep enough and wouldn't keep the water temperature cold enough for trout through our hot summer. Anyway, it remains an ornamental pond and the large, wide-bodied ducks can't get into it. But ducklings can.
Because ducklings can drown if they can't get out of a body of water, we needed some escape routes for them. In the past we've put bird netting over the fence to keep the ducklings out but as the large ducks use this pond to drink from, we decided against that practice. Instead we have put some ramps in for them to climb out.
This ramp is a little bit steep and there's a bit of pushing and shoving going on I think....siblings!
Most of the ducklings are back under the watchful eye of mum.
These photos below have all been taken with full zoom on my little camera. The mums are hugely protective of their babies and I don't like to get too close. They have a very strong set of alarm calls that bring the flock to them. It starts off as a kind of low repetitive set of yips and barks and then the ducklings all become alert. Then the mums calls get louder and more insistent and the ducklings peep peep back in earnest. By this stage they are all around her and at her bidding. On this occasion, despite being all the way at the other end of the garden, the mums decided to take them back up to the duck enclosure (which at present has no door to enclose them but will do again sometime soonish).
Up the hill they go.
Up into what is distinctly their territory.
One little one decided "that's it, I'm here, rest time".
And although I don't think I managed to photograph all 11 at any one time, they are all still peeping along, doubling their body size each week. No way these guys would fit back into an egg.