There are three sets of Mallard ducklings on my local river. It’s a struggle to keep track of them. For a start, they keep growing and I don’t recognise them after a few days. I find counting the chicks helps, then I know which mother is which and which family I’m looking at.
That’s hijacked if they have the same number of chicks or if a predator gets one. There are plenty of hungry Herring Gulls starved of KFC looking for a meal.
It’s also problematic if they decide to huddle. Just how am I meant to count these?
It’s easier when they get up and run to meet their alarmed mother.
Have you seen the size of those wing buds?