Duck Drama at the Dock

Back at the Ferry Dock I went to see what was happening with the crows and the gimpy ducklett. The crows were a bit sedate even though I counted over 40 of them at this great territory they have claimed.

However, the ducks became the excitement for this round of beach time.

It started with my finding a parent duck with 5 fluffy babies. Obviously, not the gimpy duck flock but sure cute as it can get (check out the above photo)

They were just hanging out on the sandy beach to the north of the dock. In the photo below see how one of the babies is standing up.

Ducklings and Washington State Ferry
Duck family just above the surf line.

All seemed golden so I went to check on the Crow Pool. That was when I did my count of how many were hanging out to the south of the dock. Most of the flock was there getting lots of goodies from the negative three foot tide.

Next I went looking for the older duck family to see how the gimpy one was doing.  I crossed back under the dock and saw both families in the low tide seaweed and small tidal pools. Kind of a gooey mess that I avoided by hanging out on the edge where the sand was drier.

Low Tide with little pools and seaweed.

Once I got in the proximity of the families I started watching in my binoculars and snapped a few photos. Here they are close together foraging in the low tide tasty treats.

Two Duck Families of different ages. Little ones at the bottom & older up top.

This is when the drama got going. While I was watching them in my binoculars one of the older duckettes came over and tried to pick up one of the babies. I figured it was all over!! Instead daddy mallard came charging and gave that juvenile duck a good pecking. The baby got sort of tossed unceremoniously into a tidal pool. He scrambled back up and hurried to join his little buddies.

What was with that? Shame on me for thinking that these ducks would all co-exist since there was so much food to be had at this nice low tide.  But no – there was a bully in the older flock and he had to go mess with the babies!

After that happened they moved further out so they were at the true waterline of the sound. Below if you look right below the moored boat you will see the itty bitty ones & then off to the right is the juvenile group. It was interesting that the parents of the babies just went off and left them to their own devices. Survival of the fittest must be those parents motto.

Two flocks on Puget Sound ignoring each other after skirmish
Real little baby ducks on shore
Gimpy Duck family foraging at shore of Puget Sound

Drama was over and the two families continued to go about their business. We can only guess what caused all the meanness from the juvenile to the baby. Perhaps it was not wanting to share or he just had a bad attitude.

I leave you with the cuteness of the little ones after the parents shooed then further away from the bigger ducks.

Babies herded into tide pools and all seem to be A-OK.

 

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