Monday, 5 May 2014

Painful Week

It has been an emotionally painful week for me being involved with the natural world. 

The rescued Halloween duck that had 12 ducklings has lost them all. I found her last one beside the swans island moat, it was barely alive and was badly injured with a broken neck. It was pretty upsetting to find this beautiful tiny creature in such a condition, I cupped it in my hands and breathed warm air onto it for several minutes, it was trying to move but the neck was obviously broken - mercifully it died a few minutes later. It seems likely that it was grabbed and dropped by a crow as the mother probably went for it. In my experience Crows tend to grab them by the neck.
The first duck that had six ducklings has also lost all of hers, and the mother with 9 the other day is now down to 4. 

The good news is another two broods of 10 and 7 showed up, but how many will survive ?  Losses in the first real week of hatching, now total 23 at the point of writing this post. I also picked up a badly injured Seagull near the bailey bridge early last week, it was beyond repair and had to be put to sleep by the SSPCA.

On the subject of gulls, they have been raiding duck nests and eating the eggs down by the Merryton bridge. One such nest was abandoned after 8 out of 10 eggs were eaten, and someone had thrown a coke bottle into the nest. After removing the bottle I noticed there were still 2 eggs in the nest, and decided to put them in an incubator even though they had been abandoned 5 days earlier. The good news is that they now have living embryos in them, and should hatch around the 18th of this month. Never say Die !

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