I have not forgotten about this blog - I've been working on a post about the history of me and Hester. The more I write about it, the more I remember, then I have to go back in and edit it. It shouldn't be too much longer.
In the meantime, Hester continues to come by - she eats only a small amount then moves on. There are a bunch of new ducks that I haven't seen before. They have a serious female shortage. They are also more aggressive and have no qualms about swimming up close to the bulkhead. In part I blame David. I understand that he wants the joy of feeding the ducks too but he messes with my system. He thinks its fun to throw a whole piece of bread in the mist of them and watch them fight over it. It is pretty comical to watch a male chase another male duck around sometimes but it is also incourages them to be aggressive. Hester has become more and more finicky and timid especially when the other ducks are near. She doesn't even like Arthur to eat because it seems that once he has been lucky enough to grab a bite from her, he gets a little more aggressive too. She will usually immediately start swimming away. She knows that Arthur has to follow her. Smart girl! She has been spending more time again at her nesting area. For a day or two she didn't seem to be over there too often.
Pearl and her mate have been coming over frequently too. Most of the time they are there before Hester. I am still trying to train her to come closer to the bulkhead. This is another thing that those mean ducks interfere with. There is one particular Daryl that thinks that he deserves food more than Pearl. I don't feed the Daryls but David has said he does. Arg....
I know these are wild things and I have read about this happening but I didn't expect it to happen so close to me. It was very disturbing. I have already described how ducks mate. I have read also that sometimes a group of males will isolate a female and "have their way with her". I was out feeding Hester and there were several pairs of other ducks waiting a little ways out. A rogue group of 4 male ducks intruded into the scene and within just a few seconds had a female duck pinned down under the water. One of the males was mounted on her but that wasn't the worse. Two of the other males were trying to mount her all at the same time! All three males had this poor female completely and totally submerged and they wouldn't stop! I couldn't believe it! I was afraid they were going to drown her because they were in this fringy. I had my stick I use to shoe away unwanted ducks near by . I tried swinging it in the air, I banged it on the bulkhead as hard as I could and this finally got their attention. Needless to say this also frightened the others away too. I really really really want to get a sling shot! I don't want to hurt the ducks, I just want to get their attention and selectively dissuade them from coming around. I have tried throwing a rock but they only think its food that sinks really fast. I know I would have to practice a lot but that is something else to take up my time. I am sure that the closer we get to spring the more aggressive these males will become.