When In Rome…Beware Of Mallard Mayhem

After leaving the stables Sunday morning (see yesterday’s post if you want to get caught up) I made my way over to Swan Lake.  As usual, the royal resident was gracefully gliding across the water.

swan1

Although the swan has had the starring role in previous posts, the honor this time goes to the male Mallard, who was ferociously flapping his wings to impress his female companion.

mallard1

The two made a striking pair as they drifted along together.

couple1

I noticed that they were doing a lot of mutual head bobbing as they swam. I’m pretty sure this was a form of feathered foreplay because before long the couple had…well… coupled.  I hesitated taking a picture, but to be honest, it was fascinating.  Besides, I knew you’d be fascinated too! It was a brief interlude, but I was still afraid he might drown his poor partner.

couple2

Afterwards, the male swam off wearing a rather smug expression.

mallard2

Now, as if that wasn’t enough excitement for one morning, immediately following the mating, a rival suitor showed up on the scene resulting in some major mayhem!

Here’s how it played out.
First, our dashing drake saw the intruder and rushed back onto the lake, intent on being sole possessor of the lovely female.

mallard3

Meanwhile, his opponent awaited his arrival.

rival1

The two met in the middle of the lake and began an aggressive battle.

battle1

battle2

Every so often they would separate and I would think the skirmish had ended…

battle3

…but then they would turn right back around and start biting and pecking and pulling each other under water.

battle4

battle5

battle6

Let me just say, this second male was not easily deterred from his mission.  Several times, the original pair tried to sail off into the sunset, only to turn around and see a maniac Mallard in hot pursuit.

battle7

At one point, I turned to the swan and asked, “Can you believe this madness?”
He simply stared at me and remained silent.
Then I remembered, “Ah, yes, this is a Mute Swan.”

swan2

Eventually, some sort of cease fire was called, and the unsuccessful adversary went off to the edge of the lake. I’m not sure whether he was nursing his wounds or plotting his revenge.

rival2

The victor gave one final taunt…

mallard4

And then swam off with his hard earned prize.

couple3

And the swan continued to skim along the water’s surface, a silent witness to the whole escapade.

swan3

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About kathydoremus

Wife, mother, daughter, and friend. One who dabbles in writing, thinks in rhyme, and is utterly unable to escape the allure of alliteration:) Amateur nature photographer. A backyard bird watcher, a hiker of non-strenuous trails to waterfalls, and a fan of Atlanta sports teams. Driver of an orange Jeep Renegade who goes by the name of Earl. One who is nourished by silence, solitude, and a good cup of coffee. A lover of God’s Word and the riches that are hidden there. An extremely ordinary jar of clay who longs to see and be satisfied by the glory of God, and to somehow display that in my everyday life.
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11 Responses to When In Rome…Beware Of Mallard Mayhem

  1. avian101 says:

    Nice photo report Kathy! It’s a jungle out there! 🙂

  2. haha Loved the play by play! 😀 It IS fascinating to watch nature do it’s thing. 😉

  3. aussiebirder says:

    Sensational shots, especially with swan reflections!

    • kathydoremus says:

      I wish I couldn’t have gotten the action shots less blurry, but it was happening so fast that I could barely think of what to do with my settings! I loved every minute of it though. 🙂

  4. Sue says:

    Fantastic post, Kathy. Wow, so much action, and you got some great shots. The addition of the swan observer was a wonderful touch.

  5. I think that when David Attenborough retires, you should apply for his job! 🙂 Wonderful post, especially the duck drama! (still chuckling over the “mute swan” comment, LOL)

  6. What a fun post!! I loved all the action shots and the accompanying commentary was perfect! 🙂 It’s so exciting to watch nature in action.

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