Sunday: Duck report

After yet another one-day absence, Honey’s been here the last two days, and she’s been eating corn and mealworms as if they’re going out of style. This morning she wasn’t here for the 7 a.m. feeding, and she wasn’t here at noon, either.  However, she wasn’t here yesterday morning, either, but showed up a few hours later. I have no idea where she’s going, but I think she’s getting restive, testing her wings, and getting ready to migrate. She may well have moved on, but she’s pulled this here-today-gone-tomorrow stuff before, so I’m not sure. (Last year left for good on September 1.)

This sign, which I was going to post (h/t: Stephen Muth), was thus appropriate yesterday, but may be outmoded today:

However, here are some photos from the last few days when my best feathered girl was around. You’re going to see a lot of pictures of a single hen mallard (and some turtles), so if you don’t like duck pictures, skip this post. The first set is from Friday:

On Duck Island #1:

Foraging for corn in the grass. It’s not often I get a picture of her (or any of her brood) with their bills open. They eat fast! The photo is blurry because it was early in the morning and there was little light.

Two portraits. Here you can see that her wing feathers are nearly full sized (I saw her fly into the pond yesterday when a child startled her). When the wings are large enough, the primary feathers from the two wings cross over each other. I should be seeing whether she consistently folds one wing (say, the left) over the other.  In other words, is the folding directional?

What with feeding 2-3 times a day, she’s getting pear-shaped again. This is a duck with pulchritude.

Here her long wing feathers and lovely brown eyes (as well as her mottled bill) are clearly visible:

The turtles were stretching for the sun on Friday, as the temperature was mild:

I swear they look as if they’re enjoying their sunbath!

Anna says that this photo looks as if the turtles are admiring Honey for helping keep their shells clean (she nibbles the algae off their backs):

Sunbathing for the turtle, water bathing for the duck:

Honey flaps her wings, showing that they’re pretty much full sized. I didn’t realize the underside was so white and downy:

And four photos from yesterday. If Honey doesn’t return today, these will be the last pictures taken of her this year. She’s getting nice and plump now.

This could almost be a Monet avec canard:

Big wings!

Testing those wings as the turtles look on:

I checked the pond at 2 pm and there was no sign of Honey. This may be her final bow before taking off. When I last saw her yesterday, she seemed skittish and restive, and when I fed her corn on the grass, she suddenly stopped eating and stared at the pond for a long time, facing south. Maybe the Gulf was calling her. . . .

Stay tuned for further billetins.




  1. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Hope you’re keeping that third photo, the one of the pulchritudinous duck, on your desk! It’s lovely.

  2. BJ
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Man, this is such a roller coaster!

  3. scruffycookie
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Such a beautiful creature! If she’s gone for the winter, I’m hoping her trip south goes well and she’ll return to you next year.

  4. dabertini
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I think honey is aiming for the Who’s record for comebacks.

  5. Rita
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    The pic where she is shown in profile flapping her wings shows how much of her apparent bulk is her wings. Aside from her wings, she’s skinny

  6. phar84
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the updates.

  7. Posted August 26, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Who doesn’t like a good duck pic? Certainly not me. Beautiful. I wish Honey bon voyage.

  8. Achrachno
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I must confess that the turtles are a big draw for me, so even after Honey leaves you could keep posting shots and I’d be fine — up until they all under the mud for winter. I live in arid country and turtles are scarce.

  9. George
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Some humor – naught duck!

  10. Diane G
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Both the duck and the turtles are endlessly fascinating. No such thing as too many pics!

  11. David Duncan
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Perhaps she has another sugar daddy.

  12. Richard
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    “as if the turtles are admiring Honey”

    I see the birth of a new religion…

    • Posted August 27, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      It may be turtles all the way down but it’s ducks all the way up!

  13. Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    The turtles are back? And yet no-one has done a “turtle recall” joke? For shame…

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