Mallardlings: The Gap
They're almost life-sized in large ("L")!
*Sigh* The gap between the third and fourth ducklings represents a fallen sibling: there are now only four of them. ("Nature" yada yada; this year is proving pretty brutal thus far...).
The positive thing is that the four that remain are still supercute: I didn't take many pictures today (I thought that I'd return to the pond later in the day when the light was brighter, but it turns out that this nice morning light was the best of the day) but wanted to blip a picture of the ducklings with their mother to give a sense of how tiny they are. This probably isn't the best angle for showing that (I took it at 200mm, so the telephoto effect has brought the mother closer to them; she's actually slightly further away than she seems), but it was a prettier photo than my shots of her sideways on... I reckon that the ducklings' bodies are still smaller than her head (without her beak).
I like the way that the ducklings' down is almost always beaded with droplets.
p.s. Today is their third day out of the nest: this was their dramatic first day (and a photo which makes me tingle from the memory!).