Hester is definitely nesting. No ifs or maybe about it.
She spends about 90% of her time here now. She still comes over a few times a day but doesn't stay long. She will leave immediately if another duck looks like they are headed over there or even if other ducks start coming over to me. She avoids conflict by just leaving. I think 1 problem is that there is a new flock of ducks in my cove. They look like a younger group. There is a gorgeous female that I have named Pearl.
I can tell this is a new flock because Hester and Arthur and I have trained the flock she was part of not to come around. This new flock is made up of about 14 males and females. They didn't show any caution about swimming over. I have a piece of lumber that is about 3 ft long and 1 in wide. I use this to swing at the ducks and they scatter. Its pretty effective. They think its about 20 ft long. Pearl scatters too but she comes back. This morning she flew over as soon as I came outside. My goal is to eventually train her to come up on the land and then to eat from my hand like Hester did. Her feathers are a lot lighter than the others and I love the marking around her eyes.
The other day I went out and saw 2 beautiful big pelicans.
I have never seen them this close before. They looked amazing! The other thing about training a new duck is she is still leery about coming close to the bulkhead so I have to throw the bread out. This attracts the gulls. One will appear and then more just seem to appear out of nowhere. Later a bunch of young gulls showed up too.