Resting and doing a bit of preening on the bank near the Schoolhouse Creek outfall this afternoon was a small family of Mallards. Mallards are said to be the most familiar wild duck to many people, and the population is abundant. Except in winter they’ll settle in any kind of habitat that offers water, and many populations have become more or less tame in city parks where people feed them. In winter they look for sheltered bays and estuaries, and prefer fresh water to salty. This may explain why these birds hung around the mouth of Schoolhouse Creek. It’s only a big concrete pipe now, but with the recent rains this historic creek is carrying an extra rush of fresh water to mix with the salt water from the Pacific Ocean.