I had so many photos to choose from this week and together they tell a story of courage, determination, hardship, motherhood, competition, predator and prey, war and the fight for survival, that I had a hard time selecting which images to share with you. So I apologise for the image overload.
The story starts with Lady Black Duck, who has one goal, to see her brood of chicks grow to adulthood.
When we arrived on the scene Lady Black Duck and her brood were quite relaxed, her chicks happily following behind her at their own pace.
She gathered her brood to her and they duly listened while she explained some of the finer points of dabbling.
With the lessons complete it was time to put all that knowledge into practice.
But then Lady Black Duck spotted something which caused her great concern.
A rival duck wanting to steal her brood from her!
Lady Black Duck shouted for her chicks to swim as fast as they could.
She then kicked water in her rivals face with forceful vigour.
Thinking herself successful in deterring her rival she called to her chicks to stay close.
However, unbeknown to her Lady Black Ducks rival was trying for a sneak chick-napping from the rear.
This time Lady Black Duck went for a full frontal assault chasing off her rival.
There was retaliation and repeated attacks.
Lady Black Duck was proud to see her chicks putting their new dabbling skills to work despite the kerfuffle.
The scuffle attracted the notice of Rex Raven, who's favourite meal is duckling
Lady Black Duck was so focused on sending her rival off that she didn't notice Rex Raven arriving on the scene.
All that noise could only mean one thing according the Seagull teachings; food! If there's noise there's food, if there's food that's where you want to be!
So in swooped Sally Seagull to see what was on offer for a snack.
Seeing as the skirmishes were not deterring Lady Black Duck's rival she called her chicks to her and they made a run for it.
Sally Seagull got her snack and she took it to land to eat at her leisure.
But Rex Raven is closed in to steal it away from her!
Ah, no he's isn't, he's just trying to dodge Willie who has a vendetta against Rex Raven. Sally's snack was safe after all.
Willie attacked Rex Raven with full force!
Diving and swooping at the nasty Raven.
Willie didn't care that Rex Raven was far bigger them him. That Raven is an egg thief!
He is most definitely not welcome.
Willie did not let up and was very distracting for Rex Raven, it was Willie's efforts that kept Lady Black Duck's brood safe during her battles with her rival.
Brave Willie returned to his outpost to survey the scene, planning his next attack.
As we departed the the saga continued and I hoped that Lady Black Duck prevailed against her rival and that Rex Raven would give up and search for lunch elsewhere.