...or, rather, 'eep-eep-eep' which seems to be the way in which mother ducks keep their offspring close to them and the ducklings respond in the same way!
One of the best things about June. Always fearful that I have missed my chance to spend a little while with my particular favourites - and happy when, having walked past many families of almost full-grown young from earlier broods, I see an entire set of ripples heading my way - more than can be caused by the one adult female which is all I can see clearly at a distance.
I had been carrying 'duck food', mixed seed and corn, for a few weeks - trying to find an opportunity to visit the canal at Llangollen. Yesterday, whilst son was helping at the local Scout campsite we persuaded his fourteen year old sister to go with us. At fourteen, parents are embarrassing at the best of times, but parents that kneel on the tow-path hand-feeding ducks, whilst constantly talking to them, are - apparently, so embarrassing that its best not to be seen with them. The mother ducks were tame and although pecks from them don't hurt at all they do make me jump - in turn making the ducks jump and causing me to drop entire hand-fulls of seed at a time. You might think that this was to the duck's advantage but it sinks very quickly and the babies are too little to up-end to reach it.
Whilst I enjoyed their company, my husband managed to take some pics. They didn't keep at all still and, although I made friends with several families, the photos below are the only ones remotely worth posting. Working our way up the canal we arrived at the horseshoe falls, where we watched clouds of small fish, some being gobbled by a slightly larger fish, darting around our feet. My daughter was sufficiently distracted by the novelty of using Dad's camera and added the photo of the drake in all his beauty.
Now so much for embarrassing parents! One of our usual means of occupying the kids on long car journeys used to be to sing. Often tedious 'one-man-went-to-mow type' songs. As they got older Scouts campfire songs took over. The only sensible route back to the car was back the way we had come. This was too boring for our daughter who decided to pass the time by singing, and dancing (where some sort of linear progression was possible) a whole string of irritating action-type 'disco - songs' - oblivious to the strange looks SHE was getting!