Okay, it's 4 pm on Tuesday, and here's a report for those who have been asking if the Misguided Mallards are still wasting their valuable nesting time in that shrinking puddle at the rear of this suburban back yard.
I hadn't seen either one for several days, and then just a few minutes ago there was the male alone, standing tall and absolutely still, watching the house. Just standing stock-still.
I couldn't figure out why -- and then, waddling back from the spilled birdseed under my window, came his mate. They're both still with us! and he'd been watching her.
By the time I got the camera out again, she'd made it almost all the way back -- and she's such a camouflaged dullness that you'll have trouble finding her. Try for that little grey spot above the center there. He, evidently reassured that she was obeying his summons, had already returned to the puddle--if there still is a puddle. Hard to tell from here, and I can no longer walk to find out.
If this actually results in ducklings, it'll be a first, in the more than 60 years I've been watching this backyard.