Hersey Nature Reserve

Shelduck Brood

Adult Shelduck#1Shelduck Tadorna tadorna 31st May 2015

Adult Shelduck#2Shelduck Tadorna tadorna 4th June 2015

During late May and early June this Shelduck was seen patrolling a large area around the ford in front of the Bird Hide.  It was very aggressive, chasing off any other ducks that ventured into the vicinity.

On the 18th of June 2015 the reason for this behaviour became apparent when a regular visitor to Hersey asked me if I had seen the Shelduck ducklings.  I went down to see them but the light was too poor for any decent photographs.  The following day when the light was better I went down to see if I could get some decent shots.

Shelduck Group#1Shelduck Female with Ducklings 19th June 2015

There were seven ducklings in total but it was impossible to capture them all in the same shot on this occasion.  I had better luck getting a shot of the whole family on the following day but was forced to shoot into the light.

Shelduck Family Hersey Nature Reserve Seaview Isle of WightShelduck Family 20th June 2015

Shelduck Group#2Shelduck Female with Ducklings 21st June 2015

A couple of days later the female had gathered all seven ducklings together on the bank of the east lagoon where it was possible to photograph them from the hide in reasonable light.

Shelduck Group#3Shelduck Ducklings 21st June 2015

Shelduck Group#4Shelduck Female with Ducklings 21st June 2015

Shelduck Chick#1Shelduck Duckling 23rd June 2015

Shelduck Duckling#2Shelduck Duckling 4th July 2015

Shelduck Duckling#3Shelduck Duckling 14th July 2015

Shelduck Duckling#4Shelduck Duckling 22nd July 2015

Five weeks after the first sighting there were only two of the original seven ducklings remaining but they were thriving and starting to take on more of the appearance of the adult birds.

Shelduck Duckling#5Shelduck Duckling 25th July 2015

Shelduck Duckling#6Shelduck Duckling 2nd August 2015

Six weeks after the original sighting the young birds were trying out their new wings and soon attempting flight.

Shelduck Duckling#7Shelduck Duckling 8th August 2015

Shelduck Duckling#8Shelduck Duckling 12th August 2015

After seven weeks both of the two surviving youngsters were flying around the reserve.

Shelduck Duckling#9Shelduck Duckling 12th August 2015