Sunday, 21 August 2011

Duck Numbers Down

This years new duck numbers are down on the previous year, we had about 35 surviving ducklings which is a bit of a disappointment. The Mink and hoodie crows had again a devastating effect on the numbers. Take for instance the superduck mother who had 23 at one stage, she finally ended up with 3. This was incredible considering what a great mother she was, having taken on the cob , avoided dogs and the heron - but I think the hoodie crows and later on the mink did the damage. They should have been safe at 6 weeks old but were going missing night after night. It was a great pity that the Mink was not caught sooner.( short video below of superduck and ducklings that were about a month old.) I also noted that we got only two broods from up river which was a shock, again I assume that maybe mink were mainly responsible, for many of the mothers that went up river have never returned. This could only happen if something is killing the mothers as they sit on the nest guarding their eggs. All in all the river duck numbers are about the same as last year because of the loss of many females that went missing up river. I did see some guy with a chestnut coloured spaniel whom I've yet to find out exactly what he's up too, but it looked suspiciously like he's hunting ducks and nests illegally along the riverside. This might account for all the missing broods up river !

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