Visit by the otters

My day started with John waking me up saying the otters were in the pond.  We tend to have an annual visit to our pond by otters.  Just once a year, they swing by, eat the big fish, and leave.

Fancy trying out the canoe?
Daddy Otter

Playing hide and seek under the dock

Yummy breakfast
This time however - there were little guys too! Two parents and three little otters all arrived at 7am for breakfast.

As they've eaten all the big fish in previous years, today it was a frog breakfast. We have literally over a thousand frogs in the pond, so losing some to the otters seems OK.

I think this was the parent who taught Smiler to smile

They were all lovely to watch as they went about their way - but one in particular caught our eye. We called him Smiler the otter - as his bottom teeth tended to stick out of his mouth, like he had a big grin.  I'm not sure if this was because he was a greedy gobbler, but he definitely ate more than the others.

At one stage, he was busy hanging out by the water lily, eating as many frogs as he could, when the rest of the family went down the other end of the pond.

Suddenly he noticed they were gone!  Agh! He started swimming around in circles, very distressed and crying very loudly.  Poor little Smiler!  The others watched him at a distance, from the duck house,  but didn't shout back!

Hello! Anyone home?

Where's Smiler gone?

I thought it was a bit mean, but John reckoned he probably did this quite often and his parents were fed up with him!!!

His cries got louder and he's swimming frantically, but then saw them did a big dive to go towards them.

He didn't learn his lesson however, as he just went back to frog eating at the lilies while the family decided breakfast was over. They then went off to head back to the creek but Smiler was too busy eating and didn't notice them!
"Ok, time to go"

"where is that pesky Smiler?"
In the end, they had to come and get him so they could all leave together!

"Ok, I'm coming"

I hope you enjoy the photos of our little otter family.  Let me know if you see Smiler at your pond - you'll be sure to recognize him :-D

Duckling rescue

I was woken this morning by John telling me we had ducklings in our pond :-D I've always wanted us to have ducklings but it was a surprise to us as the mother hadn't been using our duck house. She was obviously hiding out somewhere else as we hadn't seen her for days. Daddy duck had been around, but as I've now seen today, mummy is good at hiding - and at hiding her ducklings.

I took some photos first thing this morning and no sooner had I put them on Facebook but John came in saying we needed to do a duckling rescue!  Three little ducklings had jumped over the overflow of the pond and because it slants backwards, they couldn't get back.

Poor mummy and daddy duck were in the pond squalking loudly, and the little guys were cheeping, so John had to crawl into the tunnel and help them back over and back into the pond again!!  Brilliant rescue and the family were reunited!

Phew, we've only had them a few hours and already we've had a rescue. Looks like this could be a busy few weeks!!!  From the reunited photos, I can see there are 12 babes……fingers crossed we stay at 12. No more jumping!!!


A place for everyone

Before we left the US on this trip, our pond was quite busy.  For years we've had 2 turtles in the pond, but recently we've seen a new one on the scene.

Mr and Mrs Mallard duck have also been coming by lately.

So the other day I looked out and saw how they were nicely dividing up the lake structures amongst themselves.  It seems the turtles always go on the "posh" duck house, staying around the edge.

Then the mallards swam towards the old duck platform and Mrs Mallard decided to have her rest there.

So Mr Mallard proceeded to the fountain and settle down for a rest there.

None of them invading each others space - just all comfortable, with a place for everyone.

I hope you got some space to yourself today too.  It is important.  Even if only for a few minutes.

Misty morning at the pond

We've been getting a few misty mornings at the pond lately. This time of year we always get such a lovely gathering of ducks and birds there.  The male hooded mergansers are just so handsome with their black and white markings, and we get either a great egret or a great blue heron, plus our friend the little green heron.

Isn't it a restful scene. I hope you took time to look at something restful today.