VPTA resident Cheryl Backstrom wrote via email:
Griff, on May 14, John and I enjoyed the “Make Way for Ducklings” parade across our backyard. 12 of them followed momma mallard.
On Friday, May 13th I got this note from Earlyne and Gene alerting me to the baby ducks spotted on the pond. We have all been waiting for the first sighting but none of us expected this.
Hi-In case you haven’t heard or seen them, there are 14 hiding in the grass just west of Myron’s(NE corner of pond). It is not a good location, with people and dogs going by on the path. Arlene was on their deck when I walked by today and pointed out that the parents had led them across the path to a bush in their yard and were hiding there. We talked softly and suddenly they were running across to the west, back to the grasses.
Very cute and tiny. Of course, I didn’t have a camera or phone with me.
So when I spotted them on Saturday, I ran for my camera but was not fast enough. I finally got a shot of them on Sunday but they move so fast… it took 3 different times for me to get them actually in focus. We have counted as many as 24 and as few as 21, so that seems to be in the ball park as to the number. With a little research, Mallards don’t usually have this many in a brood, so she must have inherited a few from another mom, poor thing. They are never in line and seem to burst on the scene when they appear. We have seen two other momma ducks, one with 3 and another with 6 ducklings.
Griff did a blog about them on Locally Grown. Check it out.
I thought I would put together a group of photos I have been able to get of several birds visiting me this year. These are the times I wish I had a better camera and lenses. If you have pictures, please send them to add to this slide show. It would be good if you indicated what the bird is if it is not obvious, especially for those of us new to the bird watching scene.
I just about had a heart attack on Friday when this small hawk hit the windows in our living room. I have taken some precautions to make sure this doesn’t happen by putting stickers on all the surfaces of the bay window… but it didn’t seem to work for this little guy. All ended well as he did fly off and I can only hope he survived. I must admit I was ready to call someone to get some advice until he finally stood up. Here are some pictures, I know I probably will never be able to get this close to a hawk again and hopefully not under these circumstances. I think the conclusion on Facebook is that it is a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. You may have a different opinion. (and just in defense of myself… I took the pictures, even though it says Griff did… he just wants all the picture credit around here) 🙄