Over the past week or so a family of wild Ducks have become regulars on Mullan Road.
The first time we saw then there were four and they were happily strolling about
the garden at the rear of the house. However they then came round to the front and
waddled out through the gate going left and entering the front garden of the house
next door. Next day there was something similar but we did not know from where they
came or to where they went to spend the night.
Then one day behold there were nine in the flock and in the morning time they strolled
or waddled down the road past our gate in single file and on to the river. Now we
thought they would make their way back to the Lake from which we presumed they came.
But no - that evening they came back up the road at the same leisurely pace, came
in through the gate and round the back, surveyed the area and returned to the front
and hence out through the gate and up the road to the right.
Cars had to stop or slow to a snails pace to allow them pass as they seemed oblivious
to the dangers of walking on the middle of the road. Since then it has been a daily
ritual - one way in the early day and return at evening.
However today they were later than usual arriving but in they came and round the
back and then back to the front again. However this time light was fading and darkness
falling rapidly and they held a meeting on our front lawn and the decision was made
- we camp here for the night and so all nine preened themselves and cleaned themselves
and finally settled to sleep at our front door.
Our request to all traffic travelling up or down Mullan Road - please drive with
care and watch out for the ducks - their colouring makes it difficult to see them
on the road which means extra care. They will likely not stay around for too long
but return to the Lake but in the meantime we would hope that nothing will happen
Postscript: The night passed peacefully and even though they were gone when we awoke
at 7.30am they are now barred from sleep-overs at our house. The driveway at the
front of the house looked like the camping site after a music festival. Not only
did they clean their plumage on the outside but they also cleaned out the insides
as well - the place was covered with 'you know what' as they had left their calling
cards everywhere. So - from here on in they can keep waddling past my gate. I had
a very important visitor coming this morning so first thing I had to do was hose
down the driveway to have it cleaned before he arrived.