The Mama Duck Gallery Feature


Saturday the 24th December 2022 to Sunday the 01st January 2023
Three Episodes
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Music – Keep Up

The Mama Duck Galleries

During June and July of this year, whilst walking around Sandwich, l chanced upon five ‘Mallard Duck families’ as in a duck hen and her chicks. There were many more that l saw in the distance wherever l walked, but l wasn’t as focused on them all as l was on the few.

Of the five families that l managed to photograph regularly over six – eight weeks, three duck hens and their attentiveness to their clutches won my heart. They became known to me purely as the Mama Ducks.


I have a soft spot for mallard ducks which is just as well considering how much interaction and engagement l have with them and share with my blog via the photography l snap at every available chance l have.


The three mamas l observed from June 1st to July 30th displayed different characteristics and traits. Of all the duck hens l saw with clutches and chicks over the summer, these three alone struck me as the most affectionate, caring, and attentive.


I was amazed at how they managed to keep all of their clutch numbers healthy and watched over and how they brought into Sandwich along the Ramparts Walk a total of twenty-two new ducklings, which grew into cheeky and mischievous juveniles who today are now young adults and occasionally l see a couple of the young hens hanging out with their mamas.


Mama Duck One aka Mavis was the first of two mallard hens l discovered in June with chicks, although l had seen several hens in May covering eggs. She is a crossbreed of a mallard and a domestic duck. There are quite a few mixed breeds in the town.


As to what domestic breeds they are, l couldn’t say with any accuracy, although talking to a birder during the summer, he told me we have a mixture of varieties here, such as Pintail, Swedish, American blacks, Ferals, Pochards and the list is quite long.


Mama Duck Three aka Holly was also of mixed heritage, whilst Mama Duck Two aka Sally is a pure breed, Mallard. Of the three prime mama ducks, one and two were the most visual, whilst three flitted between the Delf Stream and the Guestling Stream on Delf Street.


Other duck mamas that will be briefly displayed in the series were Mallard strains. There are no vast folders due to their continued switching of nesting locations between New Street and the Millwall part to the Ramparts and even the River Stour by the Quay.


The three main ducks stayed exclusively [ish] on the Ramparts Delf Stream canal between the Butts and the Ropewalk.

Starting on Saturday, 24th December and continuing into the New Year, l shall publish the Mama Duck Galleries in a series of five to six posts displaying the young clutches of the three main mamas l photographed from June to July. I hope you’ll enjoy the experience as much as l did.


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Published by The Autistic Composter

Howdy Folks, Earthly Comforts is a broad niche wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, also known as ‘worm farming and photography too.

9 thoughts on “The Mama Duck Gallery Feature

      1. So cool that you know where (and what) I’m talking about! We have lots of wood ducks around us at the moment and some of those mummas are making me nervous letting their babies feed so close to the edge of the road 😱

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know what you mean; l sometimes wonder at the behaviours of some of the mothering wildfowl here too. Like most animals, humans included, there are good mothers, bad mothers, experienced mothers, and newbie mothers.

        I have this feature lined up, which displays excellent duck hen mothering skills and yet where l volunteered some of the mothering ducks, there revealed a different attention than these displayed ducks do and did.

        It’s a learning curve for everyone involved. Inexperienced mothering behaviours soon wisen up, or they never will.

        Liked by 1 person

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