I love this time of the year when all the little balls of fluff make an appearance, the only problem is I find nature quite cruel at this time more than ever.
One day you will see Mother Duck with her brood of twelve, only to see her the next day with some missing. I hate it when I hear the pitiful peep peeping of a lonesome little Duckling who has lost his Mum. They look like a little fluffy full stop in the middle of the Canal, which to them must feel like an ocean! They do seem very capable though, they feed themselves, there is nothing funnier than watching as they jump up to catch low flying gnats and flies.
In all the years I have been on the boat I have never noticed how many get killed by getting trapped in tyres down the side of boats, as they use them to follow their Mums on to the bank .I have lost count of the amount I have set free that have been inside tyres and can’t get out, or worse crushed to death.
I mentioned it to Mark, and he said it might be an idea to put, “ Duckling ramps” in. So he got an old scaffolding plank attached rope one end secured it with a mooring pin on the bank and just rested it in the water. I was that chuffed the first time I saw a family of little Ducks walk up the plank, I wanted one too! They use them all the time to get out of the water so result!
I noticed the other night a lone Duckling sitting at the top of the ramp, a tiny newly hatched one. When I approached it didn’t move, I gently picked him up and brought him inside. Now I know you shouldn’t interfere with nature but he seemed quite distressed, there was no sign of his Mother anywhere. I placed him gently on the settee and he snuggled down.
After letting him rest for a while, I decided I couldn’t keep him so decided to see if he could swim before I let him go…
So after a couple of laps around my Bathroom sink I let him go. I just hope he makes it!