I was boiling up a batch of wild hawthorn berry jelly this morning when I looked out the kitchen window and saw… seven tiny fluffy ducklings running around the driveway! Way to go Mama Duck! (Forgive the sudden outbreak of exclamation marks but I’m excited!)
Our female Pekin duck (I call her Streaky-Beak because she has a few stripes on her snozz) has been sitting on a nest of eggs under the barberry hedge on our far boundary for at least a month. It’s her second crack at motherhood (our puppy defeated her first attempt last spring when he found her nest under the conifer shelter belt and ate all 14 eggs in one go). But given how cold it has been getting at night here now, I didn’t hold out much hope that she’d be able to keep the eggs warm enough to hatch. In fact, just yesterday I was thinking I really should get her off the nest before she loses all her condition before winter.
Baby ducklings are so adorable. Unfortunately, they’re also appetising to hawks. We rounded up the ducklings before breakfast, then turfed the chooks out of the chook run and locked the quackers in there as a temporary measure. Ten minutes later, I saw the first hawk swoop. My maternal instinct kicked in (I went a little bananas) and I rushed out in my slippers to scare it off. So now the ducks are safely ensconced in the haybarn instead and Dad’s on his way over to give us a hand to rig up a temporary mesh run out the barn door.
Meanwhile, my haw jelly stuck to the pot. But who cares? We have a box of Easter fluffies!