Mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack,” …
Thursday May 12th 2011: ... and only four little ducks came back. I have watched this family of ducks for more than a week now, and I am not sure that ducklings living on such a small pond is a good idea. The foxes and airborne predators might find the little ducklings easy prey. There were eight ducklings and now only are four are left. Will any of the ducklings survive?
Most nights I have watched the ducks swimming on the pond, and then cuddling up to mum on the fallen tree branch for a nap. There are three ducklings that quickly follow mum onto the branch. The other ducklings take their time, swimming away in all directions to play for a few minutes. One by one, though, they climb up the branch to their mother. Three of the ducklings have always kept close to mum, and three of the four wayward ducklings have not survived – there is a lesson here, surely. I wonder if the last wayward ducking be swimming on the pond tomorrow?
Mother’s favourites have ganged-up on the last wayward duckling. When the little fella tries to take its place under its mother’s downy feathers with its siblings, they push it off the tree branch and into the water. This happens again, and again, and again, until mum gets fed-up with all the commotion and slides off the branch and into the pond. I don’t hold out much hope for this little fella.
The tadpoles are still swimming in the pond – can’t see any legs yet, though.
The stinging nettles, giant hog weed and cow parsley are now five feet high in places.