The Cheeky heron

Grey Heron

The dogs and I went for a walk today. We had our usual chats with the ducks. Saw Mad Duck and her three ducklings whom I call Backs (likes to swim backwards sometimes), Cheeky (who takes after its mum and sweet-talks me) and Sol (who likes to swim alone exploring). When the ducklings were newly hatched they didn't pay any attention to me. I wasn't yet part of their schema (awareness). After about two days of me seeing them, they started to recognise my voice, possibly also feeding off the energy from their mother. They would speedily swim to me with high-pitched quack quack qwik qwik qwik. Have you ever seen the motor on those little ducklings? They have serious velocity.

Something interesting about observing the ducklings with their mum is how much they copy her. This also very much a human strategy. I noticed that the ducklings would make the same movements their mum does when eating the floating pellets, even though they couldn't eat, sometimes missing their aim. As they grow, their skill improves until they are old enough to eat the pellets.

Interestingly, if I throw floating pellets for ducks that are new to the area, the concept of the pellets doesn't exist. I know this because they will swim straight past the pellets as if they are not there. If these ducks stay in the area, they will soon learn from other ducks. Lingering behind the 'regular' ducks, eating the pellets and then eating with them.

Today I saw Grey Heron, whom I haven't seen for a few days. The last time I saw Grey Heron, we had a serious conversation. I said to Grey Heron that I understand the aspects of nature and life and death, however, Mad's ducklings are protected. Not as in something special, though more in a cheeky statement. My aim is to try and help double the birds. If there are double the number of birds, imagine the double of all the other animals.

It was quite a strange and fascinating the next time I met a Grey Heron, after our conversation (above). Grey Heron usually keeps a distance. However, on this occasion, Grey Heron was considerably close to us on the opposite side of the canal. I could distinctly see Grey Heron's colouring and said cheerily "How are you? I have not seen you for a while". The Grey Heron just looked at me. Then, as if in response to our previous conversation, I had the privilege of watching him lower himself, bending the neck in half and craning, standing absolutely still as if frozen. It felt as if we were all frozen in that moment for ages. Then poof, in a flash, the beak dipped into the water and emerged with a small fish. I burst into a giggle and said to Grey Heron, "I see you are taking our last conversation seriously - not eating the ducklings". Then Grey Heron flew off, did a show-off circle above and flew on gracefully. A pretty spectacular experience.

Go Back