Ducks are a-dabbling, Up tails all!
Ducks’ tails, drakes’ tails, Yellow feet a-quiver,
Yellow bills all out of sight, Busy in the river!

The Wind in the Willows

I don’t often see ducks in Cold Spring Creek (I can only recall one other occasion). There aren’t many (any?) large pools which would seem conducive to dabbling, and at the moment the stream bed has been scoured clean by all the rains and there is nothing to dabble for.

Nonetheless, after about three and a half hours of running (so I wasn’t at my sharpest), when I teetered over the final stream crossing, I heard a furious quacking, and when I caught my balance and looked up there was a duck paddling furiously up-current to get away from me.

I had just put up my camera and turned to run on down, when there was a whirring noise and I saw a drake come in for landing in the pool downstream from me. Of course, I missed the landing. Sigh.

The duck also noticed the drake, and came down to join it.

And there I left the happy couple.

The only other time I’ve seen a duck there was last April. She had about 10 ducklings with her. I can’t imagine what they ate.


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