This morning when I did my rounds I only saw one of the ducks, which is rather unusual. Bert was there to greet me, but no sign of Gert. I thought that perhaps she was nesting somewhere, so I searched all around the pond, but couldn’t find her. Ungood.
When I went back inside, I reviewed the pond cam recordings. I saw them both head off camera by the waterfall at 04:42 AM, then only Bert return a few minutes later. And no further sign of Gert.
I went back out and looked again, and found her in the middle of some tall grasses next to the waterfall. She was dead, and somewhat nibbled.
My guess is they saw some animal on the bank and went to investigate, as they often do. But it was a raccoon or other nasty wildlife that grabbed her and dragged her into the grasses, and things didn’t end well for her.
We are of course very sad about losing another duck, and the first to a predator, probably. Especially since now Bert is all alone.
We had hoped they would breed and hatch ducklings, but now we’ll need to buy some more. One duck isn’t enough for us, and ducks are social creatures, so he’ll be sad for a while.