Sunday, 21 April 2013

Hyperactive duck

Magnolia in a friend's garden

We were at a lovely party yesterday, just upstream from Taggs Island, and no-one could resist the lure of our host's wonderful garden. The magnificent light showcased the beauty of one of his glorious magnolias trees.  It's Springtime at last!

Mandarin duck in the pond

A pair of mandarin ducks are regular visitors to our pond now Spring is here.  If you look carefully you can see a reflection of the male in the water.  The female spends a lot of time grubbing around in our bog garden, too, but has also found where I throw mealworms for the garden birds and helps herself to a few.

Today the mandies were again standing on the ramp of the nest box where our mallard is 'sitting' and the female mandarin spent ages gazing into the nest box at the mallard but our girl didn't seem at all bothered.  She started sitting on her (10) eggs full time yesterday so we can expect the ducklings to hatch in a month's time. Dave wanted to see when she came off the nest so that he could put in place a safety barrier, without disturbing her, to deter the fox from helping himself to a 'take-away' so we had the camera switched on all day. It meant that we were also able to keep an eye on her and we only saw the rival drake attack her once.   This morning the drake managed to drive her from the nest again and it took her some time before she returned but she's had an undisturbed afternoon.  I was about to write 'relaxing' rather than 'undisturbed' but that is far from the truth.  I had no idea just how hyper mums on nests are.  She spends much of the time rearranging the straw and rolling her eggs.  When she gets bored she stretches her neck so that she can lean out from the box to watch the world go by and enjoy the fresh air!  Her relaxation periods are incredibly brief.

Lovely evening light on the river

The sunsets have been impressive the last couple of days and it's a joy to have sunshine all day after such a grey and overcast winter.  This is the view looking upstream from our living room and part of the kitchen and, on an evening like this, with no river traffic, it's so tranquil.  I hope our mallard enjoys the view, too, as she is facing this way.

No comments: