It’s been a long time since Duck Rescue 2009 (some would say as long as 2 years) but since then I’ve been fairly proprietorial of the lake and any feathered creatures that may reside on it.
That’s why I was so excited about the baby moorhens last year and I spent quite a lot of time checking up on them and making sure that they were well, watching them grow up into big boy and big girl moorhens. I was even there to capture their first experiences of snow and ice.
Alas last year there were no mallard babies. Just the moorhens, and whilst I was happy to watch over them, they were kind of ugly and weird looking and I missed the cute fluffy black and yellowness that you get with ducklings. I wondered if it maybe wouldn’t happen, maybe the Mallards knew that the lake wasn’t a good place to have babies?
It was sad thought.
For some reason I woke up on Friday in an outrageously good mood. Don’t get me wrong, all Fridays are good and I would like to extend my thanks to whoever gave them to us, but for some reason on this Friday I woke up and felt good.
Maybe it was the weather, I think it might be physically impossible to be in a bad mood at this time of year. It’s not too hot so you can’t get in a tizz with yourself and everywhere is just colourful and bursting with life. I’ll stop there because I’m starting to not really sound like myself and instead like someone rather annoying.
Whatever it was it was great to feel that way and at lunchtime I decided I would celebrate this Friday by going and getting a sandwich from my favourite place in town and sitting in Queen’s Gardens and reading my book and eating it. This sounds idyllic and for the most part it is – you just need to have the ability to block out the sight of pasty white man chests everywhere and have eyes in the back of your head to watch out for footballs coming at you from all angles (Queen’s Gardens is right next to a sixth form college).
I ate my sandwich, read some of my latest classic (Wuthering Heights baby!) and felt happy with myself.
But actually. I didn’t know happiness until the moment I turned around to face the lake and saw....
Not 1, not 2, not 5, not 7 but TEN of them. Fluffy. Yellow. Ducklings. And they have a Mum and a Dad. A perfect little duck family. Possibly a Mormon duck family judging by the number of offspring (I need to stop obsessing about Mormons).
These guys are amazing. Not only are they cute but they are independent little blighters, perfectly happy to go swimming off on their own, never straying too far away from Mum, but happy enough to grub about on their own and tackle some stray bread that was floating about.
I squeaked. I clapped my hands. I took photos (yes the water really is that green. I have no idea why, they only cleaned them out a couple of months ago). I rang people to let them know. I told everyone I came across in the building when I got back into work. It’s safe to say they made me happy.
But you do realise that this now means I have assumed responsibility of them. Those ducks are MY ducks and I will be keeping an overly close eye on them for the rest of spring, counting them daily and getting antsy whenever loud young people come too close to them. And I’m going to have the RSPCA on speed dial just in case.
Happy Spring everyone.