Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Dabbling with Ducks



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!

Impressive, huh?

5 comments:

  1. That last picture definitely tells a story - what a laugh!!!

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  2. Fab post!

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  3. Great pictures Sue. I do love seeing ducklings along the river at this time of year. I agree with James, those chickens of yours are classic!

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  4. Thanks everyone. The ducks seem to enjoy raising their brood here and the chickens tollerate them with good grace. The lambies cant quite decide what to make of them though.

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  5. We have had a pair of Wild Mallards do the same on and off for the past few years. Last year it went pear shaped. She laid as usual near the pond but in a fairly exposed location, the eggs were robbed over night by a fox probably.

    We had already begun feeding her and she laid her next clutch in the shrubs near our conservatory. All was fine for about three weeks then both Eggs and duck were gone. I like to think they all hatched and she led them off as in previous years but she has not been seen since and the hatch would have been too early so I think something got her :(. be careful where you feed yours. We have 2M high stock fencing all around the field now for our Domestic birds.

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