Just like the Brits that awaited the newest Royal, who finally made his debut this morning, I’ve been on baby watch too, and what better time to write about it then during Mother’s Day week.
As you know, while walking at Council Point Park, I’ve been scoping out hidey holes for goslings, peering around reeds for ducklings and glancing up at tree branches for Mama Robins sitting on nests. Even in the neighborhoods, there are no egg-filled nests that will soon house hatchlings. Alas, no luck at glimpsing any of these fine-feathered friends’ offspring so far this Spring.
But … not to worry, as I have another venue to scout for babies – that is at Dingell Park down in Ecorse. Mike, one of the walkers at Council Point Park, told me last year that Mama Mute Swans like to swim with their cygnets in the cove that is just off the pavilion area at this park. Mike is retired and passes the time after walking by chitchatting every morning with the fishermen at Dingell Park. These anglers often stop at the café across from the pavilion for breakfast, then bring baked goods to toss out to the waterfowl. Nope, not the seagulls, but a Mama Mallard Duck who builds a nest in a planters box in the pavilion area every year. People bring Mama Duck treats so she does not need to leave the nest unattended and can incubate those eggs full time. One morning, just like this little chick pictured above, those babies will hatch and a stream of ducklings will hop to the ground, waddle across the pavilion, then plop right into the water. I wish I could be there to see that cute parade, don’t you?
So yesterday, I went to Dingell Park looking for Mama Duck. Mike told me the story about her last year, but the eggs had already hatched and all that remained was an empty nest with feathers and broken shells by the time I stopped by. This was because we had nine rainy weekends in a row, so getting to Dingell Park was dicey. This year I aimed to do better.
I saw Mama Mallard Duck and I spoke to her softly so I could approach and take some photos. I didn’t want to scare her by getting too close, so the pictures aren’t great. I took them from two angles.
I should have brought a treat for her, despite this brand-new sign I saw in the parking lot.
Visitors to Dingell Park, including the fishermen, will continue to feed the ducks, swans and geese that converge at the pavilion for handouts – it is the seagulls that are problematic. They invite themselves to every food fest.
Here is where the planter is located – the parking lot is on one side, and a scenic view of the cove area and Mud Island on the other side, so it is a somewhat secluded spot for the mallard nursery.
At a glance, you can barely see Mama as she is hunkered down amongst the plants in the cement planter. I’ll keep checking for ducklings, as well as swans and their babies which ride along on Mama’s back and of course I’ll share those photos if I’m lucky enough to witness this wonder of nature.