Friday, 15 April 2011

Duck Babies: One Week On

Gah. I have so much that I want to blog about but I don't seem able to find the time at the moment. I'll be honest, a lot of my blogging is done during work hours in those spare 5 minutes that I find throughout the day. (I don't beat myself up too much, do you know how much time some people spend taking fag breaks? I counted up 1 hour the other day - 1 whole hour of not doing work and giving yourself cancer instead. Well done.) However I've been a bit of an idiot. I kind of forgot that I'm not here the last week in April because I was a smug git and took the 3 days off between Easter and the Royal Wedding thinking I was acesome for getting 11 days off work for the price of 3. Whilst this is indeed brilliant, it's not so brilliant if you suddenly realise that you've lost a week's worth of work and you have two pieces of work that have to be done by the beginning of May. Cue panic. So there haven't been any spare 5 minutes during the day to get my thoughts together and my internet at home is so bad it's practically non-existent. Hence the lack of blogging.

Anyway. Whatevs.

This week I have mostly been spending my lunch breaks (and before work. Ok and after work) checking on my duck babies. I am protective of them it borders on the insane. There have been moments where I have panicked, seeing only a few babies on their own but I am pleased to report that all duck babies are present and accounted for and Mummy Duck is doing a pretty good job.

I feel bad for her though, because these guys are wilful little so-and-sos. They are seriously mega independent. They're not scared of anything, they're not phased by anything, they are happy to try and strike it out on their own. Whilst this is good it makes me nervous, I'd feel much happier if they just stayed on the lake away from people, but no, these guys like to go walkabouts...

I totally get why they call it goose-stepping now!

They march about like a little duck baby army, on the prowl for who knows what. I'm guessing food because their main hobbies appear to be eating and looking for things to eat.

It's hard to get all 10 of them in one picture. Mainly because they have a habit of spreading out and not keeping together which causes me great amounts of stress, why can't they just stick together if they're going to go wandering off? (Anyone else get the feeling I'm going to be the world's most over-protective mother?) But also because there always tends to be one guy who's left behind. I've decided it's the same one, it just has to be, I have nicknamed him Runty but I don't know if he is or not, he doesn't appear to be smaller than the rest of them, just more stupid.

Any time the duck babies are off on an adventure together you can hear an ear-piercing cheeping coming from the lake. Guaranteed it's Runty, who somehow didn't get the message about the family outing and decided to stay on the lake but then freaks out when he can't find anyone so swims about screaming for everyone to come back to him. They eventually come back to him or he finds them wherever they are on the lake and it all turns out well in the end but it does leave me worried for him sometimes.

Sometimes I go to the lake and there will only be a couple of babies and no sign of Mum and Dad and that kind of makes me want to reach for my phone immediately and call the RSPCA and get them to perform Duck Rescue 2011 but I try and remain calm. Mum Duck knows what she's doing, she'll come back.

If I get a little worried about them, like I did last night when there were 5 duck babies but no sign of anyone else anywhere, I went down to watch over them for a little while and reassure them (or realistically myself) that Mum and Dad will be back soon.

I would love to tell you that this story ends well but this is nature we're dealing with and, to be honest, she's kind of a bitch.

As of today there's only two duck babies remaining. We found the body of one close by but the other 7 are nowhere to be seen. Mum and Dad are near to the remaining babies but don't seem to be taking too much interest in them.

I know that these things happen and I have no idea how on earth seven of those duck babies have disappeared, the possibilities are endless and mostly unpalatable so I'm focusing very much on not thinking about them.

But I guess I should be happy I had a good week of duck babies in my life.

Damn you nature. Damn you!!


  1. Oh, so sad :(

    I keep a close eye on the bubba ducks, and cygnets, on the canal here. Its always depressing to go there and count less than you counted last time.

    Bless their tiny ducky feet xxx

    PS you're a fab duck baby mummy- They knew love! x

  2. Oh, I was so enjoying the stories about Runty and Co... and now I'm sad! Keep an eye on the remaining 2 for us, nature really is a bitch isn't it?!

  3. I did some duckling watching a few years ago, they were adorable too - I wasn't able to keep as much of an eye on them as you are yours, because it was not very nearby. Sadly they got less and less too - they have lots of predators. I guess you have to think that they died so others might live. Nature is often not nice, that's for sure! But so lovely sometimes. You did your best and you cared, so you can't do more than that can you?

  4. Oh no! Poor duck babies! They were all so cute as well.

    Totally agreed on the fag breaks by the way. It's infuriating - how do non-smokers skive? In my office no one is allowed to smoke on the premises and the door into the building is at the BACK of the building so the smokers get an even LONGER break as it takes them an extra two to three minutes to walk around to the street. Argh!

  5. Ohhhhh no! Poor missing duckies :-( I hope the others make it through to adulthood.

  6. Oh dear...I hope a fox or cat didn't get them. Those duck parents must be the chavy sort...definitely the neglectful sort! :( xxx


Go on. Say something. You know you want to...