12.12.2011 One more lost

A little striped alien among twelve darkish fluff losers

Twelve days later, and the ducklings are huge, looking more and more like the male,

losing their fluffy downs - and Smallie is still wearing its striped feather coat.

The family gnome has grown a lot, too, but sure, it still is only half the size of the others, and now with

the change of feathers is looking like being from a different duck species.

One of the most pleasant things about visiting the paradise duck family on a regular base

is meeting so many people who care about them. The first question always was: "How many

are there today?"

The funniest encounter was with a lady from the retirement village. She stood on the other side

of the street and wanted to know the number. She did not want to cross, so she yelled.

Several cars were passing between us and there was constant noise. I yelled the number several

times but the old lady never got the message. So in the end I used my fingers to relate the number

to her. She was happy that there was no loss on that day. Obviously all residents of the retirement

village were avid duck feeders.

13 drinking swimmers - and Smallie well protected in the centre.

They are not camera-shy.

They are not losing the fluff at the same speed.

The stripes are disappearing.

Soon all ducklings will have a head as black as their dad.

Mother duck keeping control of the flock.

Smallie going on a little walk with its older siblings.

And taking a little break here...

... and there.

Mother duck supervising 13 tired ducklings. Smallie near the centre of the photo.