At around this time every year, a pair of wild duck come to stay and brood their ducklings.
We have got used to their annual visit and provide them with a trough of water for washing and snoozing in and a supply of chicken feed. The chickens and the cats are all quite happy about this, but Joseph, the large fowl cockerel, is struggling to get used to them. He announces their arrival with his pterodactyl like call to warn everyone of ‘an aerial attack’! Unfortunately for Joseph, no one pays any attention to him and the ducks touch down and go about their business.
The female lays her eggs in the garden between the plants, and covers them carefully with moss and twigs whenever she leaves them to find food and preen.
She sets about a dozen eggs as a rule, and once they hatch she walks all the ducklings the quarter of a mile back to the lake that will be their home.
The little ducklings are so beautiful and even the chickens have to stop and stare at the cuddly, web footed caterpillar formation of ducks waddling across the orchard!