Saturday, Martin Cox emailed me this cell phone pic of a Mallard mom paddling after her brood. I was expecially glad to get this news because of the scant number of goose and duck chicks at the lake this year.
A Mallard has managed to produce 10 chicks! And now some more have followed. The first family of this size this year[!]
On Sunday, Judy Raskin posted on a neighborhood list:
As of today (Sunday, 4/6) there are at least three new broods of Mallard ducks. One mama has 11 ducklings, another 6 and a third has one. There is also one pair of Canada geese with a single gosling. These numbers will change over the next few days, so you should go take a look as soon as you can. And we wait anxiously for the arrival of great blue heron chicks!
Sadly, today I heard that the gosling has disappeared. In the meantime, my calls to the Department of Rec and Parks have not been returned (and, yes, I have left my number). I called to see if the Bird Island gates could be closed, as it was for years, until 2008. The reduced number of ducklings and goslings very likely could be a result of nest raiding by humans on the island.