Saturday, 22 May 2010

Duckling followup


I mentioned the visitors to our small, rustic type pond yesterday. There is a follow-up to the tale. Three ducklings ran when the magpie attacked, but only my dh dashing out into the garden saved the duckling with the magpie’s beak around its neck. It ran, fell over and vanished into the bushes, and we feared the worst.
Three hours later, it was back in the sun on the stone steps. All alone, but seemingly unworried. Twenty minutes after that it was back in the pool, but got caught in the wire netting we had over the pool to save the tadpoles from the crows, cats and magpies. Dh again to the rescue, wire clippers to the fore. I supported its weight while he clipped the wires. When the duckling was free, it sat on the water for half a second and then erupted into action – out of the pond, and over the lawn, screeching as it headed for the bushes.
We never saw it again. Had a worried night. Up at 4.27am, binoculars out, searching the undergrowth from the bedroom window. Nothing. Then mid-morning, in conversation with the next door neighbours – they had seen a duckling, and it went that away. Over the fence again, and the next, nextdoor neighbour confirms: ‘It’s here, in our pool. Looks content.’
So there we are. A happy (I hope) mallard duckling all alone on the pond two gardens up. At least the weather is in its favour. It is upwards of 25 degrees today, and the nights are (relatively) warm, too.

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