Friday, 18 September 2015

Duck News September 2015

I had the opportunity of a duck count the other evening when they were all settled down for the night - I counted 150. 

Many of the ducks that had been away nesting have now returned minus their offspring !
The crows and other predators have all but annihilated this years ducklings.

Only two female ducks out of 45 that were able to nest, have successfully managed to save 3 and 4 from their broods. 
Well over 100 ducklings were lost to predators that I know of, but the number is more likely to be double or treble that amount.

Even the ones that I managed to help for several weeks before releasing them to the river had a hard time, with about a quarter still being taken, including the beautiful white duck. 

However more than a dozen have survived and thankfully most of those are female. Having done it myself I know just how hard it is for ducks to rear their offspring, they have my total admiration and sympathy. The Trust provides feed for the swans and ducks every day, they each receive an average of around 2.2 ounces of grain per day which I try to distribute as equitably as possible. This is boosted by seasonal pulled grass, carrots and wholemeal bread. To aid good feather growth,  I give Mealworm, lettuce, and thawed garden peas for the newly reared ducklings. We probably have the healthiest water birds in Scotland . 

Not forgetting the over wintering Pintail refugee from the North !

Some people are still throwing their mouldy stale bread to the birds - PLEASE DON'T, it is poisonous to swans and ducks !!  

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