Posted by: glandorescilly | 14/07/2010

Our ducklings are famous!

Checking on stats for our blog this evening, I wondered why there were so many incoming visitors from Facebook …. until I looked at my Facebook page and discovered that Radio Scilly has posted a link to the blog both on Facebook and Twitter. Looks like our ducklings are becoming celebrities 🙂

We’ve had an increase in numbers because Yvonne suddenly appeared a couple of evenings ago with five more ducklings to make a total brood of fourteen. We’ve been able to observe them quite closely because Lisa and Yvonne have been happy to stay in our garden with their combined brood, eating the provided seed and poultry pellets (thanks again to Mr. Griffin), drinking from the water saucers and the babies enjoying their duckling ‘pools’. We would like them to stay long enough to grow bigger, stronger and quicker because it’s a real Rat Race (in more ways than one, unfortunately) down on the Porthloo duckpond.

Lisa and Yvonne with some of their ducklings

Happy ducklings a-swimming

It’s proving really difficult not to get attached to the ducklings because they are so sweet. The yellow ones are all similar, not much difference between them, but there are also three dark brown, one lighter brown and one bicoloured duckling. The latter two seem to be picked out as favourites by people who have watched them. The bicoloured duckling is one of Lisa’s so is quite big and strong and can fend for itself quite well. The lighter one, a sort of medium coffee colour, is smaller and obviously one of Yvonne’s. For some reason, Lisa has taken a dislike to it and we’ve witnessed some rather distressing behaviour where she has pecked it, bullied it and even flipped it over onto its back. It always seems to be at the back of the brood but it’s a determined little duckling and is still surviving OK.

Interestingly, we’ve observed that Lisa is very much the dominant of the two ducks. Yesterday evening, when the two families and their mums were settling down under the apple trees for the night, it was clear that Yvonne was comfortable with her head under her wing. However, Lisa was sitting upright with her wings spread slightly and it looked like the entire combined brood was tucked underneath her where they were warm and protected. Lisa has even been seen to nudge or peck Yvonne out of the way especially when the families are feeding on the bird seed and duck pellets. We watched Yvonne chasing away sparrows, thrushes and blackbirds this afternoon while the ducklings were feeding and Lisa kept a close eye on them all.

Is this 'getting stuck in' to your dinner?

Bicoloured duckling

Enjoying a swim

In the pictures above, you can see the little bicoloured duckling which we’ve called ‘Harlequin’ and the little coffee-coloured slightly weaker duckling.

Sadly, this evening we lost one of the ducklings. Steve’s Mum, who is staying with us, went out into the garden to look at them just before dinner and came back rather upset to say that there was a dead duckling lying on its back on the grass under the apple trees. Steve went out immediately to check and found that it was one of the very dark brown ducklings. He couldn’t determine any cause of death and there was no obvious trauma so he disposed of the body and made sure the remainder had food and water for the evening.

It’s sad to lose a duckling but they will find life pretty challenging on the pond so we’re trying not to get too attached to them while they are living in our garden. It’s also a wet and windy night here on Scilly so hopefully Lisa and Yvonne and their combined family will be comfortable and safe in their haven under the apple trees. Tomorrow doesn’t look much better unfortunately. Still, it’s nice weather for ducks, as they say!

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Responses

  1. Our ducklings are famous! « Glandore on Scilly…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. Hi Lois! The pictures of the ducklings are lovely, thanks for sharing them! Nathan and I will be over in a couple of weeks, and will have to pop down and see them – he will love them! Hope all is well with you. Kara x

  3. Hi Kara,
    Sadly we lost four ducklings overnight but we don’t know if it was the very wet and windy weather or if it was down to predators. Steve hasn’t found any evidence – they seem to have disappeared – three yellow and one dark brown 😦 So they may not be here in a couple of weeks unfortunately….

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog, and it’s been a pleasure visiting yours. Absolutely wonderful paintings, with a little bit of ducks thrown in. Who could ask for more!
    We adopted to mallard duck chicks this spring, the hawks and owls were causing such a threat we had to move them into a screened gazebo of ours until they were big enough to be on their own. Good luck with all and I hope you continue to visit.

  5. Oh no, that’s sad news. Hope the other ducklings are still doing OK? x


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