I got the most wonderful surprise when I went to the pond last night! I was busy photographing the masses of wild daisies grouped around the waters edge (I don’t remember them being there last year) when my son alerted me to this mother duck and her 7 babies! I’m sure these are late ducklings, it’s very nearly December and I haven’t heared of Christmas Ducks before…however I was/am just so thrilled to see them. The last lot of ducklings disappeared even after their rescue from the drain.

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Father duck came over too.

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

The debris that appears to be on the surface is actually a plant growing below the water. The bread we threw out seemed to gather here and while I was watching a piece of it disappeared before my eyes….I looked for a while and soon saw an eel sneakily rise up to the surface and help itself to the bread. I’m glad it left the ducklings alone!

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

The lily pads provide good camoflage for the ducks and ducklings. There’s atleast 2 ducks in this photo. The other side of the pond is where the Pukeko’s live and they too have chicks there now. You can see a black bundle of fluff if you enlarge the photo by clicking on it. (Its midway down on the right hand side of the photo and nearly out of the shot…but it’s there!)

There are definitely Dragonfly’s there now too…big fat ones (and no they’re not damsels!) so I will be going back tomorrow when the kids are at school!

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Right now it’s hard to believe that in summer this pond will dry up around the edges leaving stranded lilies and cracked mud behind. It’s quite serene there for now and so close to home that we have the luxury of being able to go there when ever we like. No parking issues, no fuel bills…no stress!

This dragonfly was hard to capture. My camera wanted to focus on the grasses and it was almost like it couldn’t work out what it was I was trying to get in focus. I was really pleased to come home and see how well this had come out. It’s motivation to keep trying anyway!

Click on any image to see it larger than it appears here- around 4 times bigger!

Down at the pond with the kids I noticed the commotion caused by a pair of NZ dotterels who for some reason have taken exception to the Pukeko’s. Normally both the Dotterels and Pukekos happilu co-exsist however NZ Dotterels breed from August through to Janurary and most likely have either eggs or young to be protective of. I don’t know what the Pukeko had done but it was definately being told off! You can see both birds in this pic although the lily pads make suprisingly good camoflage!

The lush green foliage at the front right of this photograph is Native Flax, or Harakeke as it is know in Maori. I took a few macro shots of it while there, one of which is at my shutterchance blog if you wish to take a look!

How pretty can a patch of swampy water be? I love the lillies at my local pond and will be going back every few days to try and catch them at different times of day and in different light.

The mallard ducks who usually inhabit the pond have all but left, I guess it must be hard to swim in all of that foliage!