Saturday, 5 September 2015


Being involved daily with river wildlife can be a real emotional roller coaster. You get to know individual birds so well and watch the characters develop in the young ones. It's particularly emotional watching tiny ducklings trying to survive in such a wild environment where at least 96% are killed by predators.

Take the brood of 11 that came out of the cemetery burn about 10 days ago, there is now only one left and it's in my thoughts morning and night. It's mother is ever watchful and tries to keep it close and safe, but does leave it unguarded from time to time, this gives me some anxiety as I watch it sometimes get too close for comfort to gulls. The nights are colder and  longer, the food supply is minimal, and every day I am filled with trepidation as I approach the river to see if has survived another night.

 With about 140 ducks close together there is an element of safety in numbers, and as yet the Crows have not taken it - I am forever willing it to survive and hope it turns out to be like it's Mother.

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