Register or log in:

Farming Friends Forum » Ducks

Jemima does it again

(46 posts)

  1. Omegaman
    Member

    What a fantastic birthday treat. Woke up this morning to find lots of fluffy ducklings peering out from under Jemima. Impossible to count them at this stage but have started taking pictures already.....well you would, wouldn't you!
    Interesting that two other pairs of wild Mallards have appeared in the garden this morning, and both females in the pairs seem very confident, coming up to me for food, so could be more of last years brood. The camera is going to be very busy today!
    Kind regards ..... from a very excited Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. yanky
    Member

    Oh Ken how fantastic. That all sounds wonderful. Clever Jemima. Did you have to deter the fox at any point? Looking forward to the photos
    Yan

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi Yan
    So far, so good with the fox but I am not complacent and the birth of the ducklings will probably change the dynamics of the situation. A promised fence from a horse owning friend still hasn't materialised so I reverted to manpower (not much sleep). I have managed to get some pictures of the fox though. I may now have to lock Jemima and the ducklings in the greenhouse overnight for safekeeping. Not too much hardship for the ducks I hope as I equip it with straw floor and paddling pool.
    Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. Mama
    Member

    Well done Jemima and of course Ken too. Waiting in anticipation for all the lovely pics. The penthouse suite sounds fab, do you rent it out!!!! and what about the tomatoes? Best wishes to you and J and a very happy birthday . Mama

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. Omegaman
    Member

    Thanks Mama
    Life is a whirl this morning. Duck photo sessions, neighbours coming to see the ducklings, friends dropping in, Mallard newcomers squatting at the end of the garden, goldfish spawning, and a couple of birds of prey circling high up.
    It's lovely to see Rocky with the ducklings though. He actually licked one!
    Working on a duck skyscraper block for next year.
    I will try to compile some of the best pictures tonight when all the people and animals are asleep
    Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. Omegaman
    Member

    .....Oh, and forgot to say the headcount is now 12 ducklings, and I think another 5 eggs in the box but I doubt they will hatch now.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. wow that is alot what will you do if your new intake decide to nest, get a large dose of valium i asume haha good luck xxx

    mo x
    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. Hi Ken,
    Delighted to here that Jemima has done it again and on your birthday as well. Glad there are lots of ducklings and that they are doing well and Rocky your daughter's dog is looking after them too!

    "Hi Sara
    It has been a very hectic first day with Jemima's ducklings and I have attached some pictures which I hope will be of interest.
    There were 12 ducklings in the end, but there were a further 6 eggs left in the nest which will probably not hatch now. The original total of 18 eggs seems to confirm the belief that two mums were using the nest, and the two different colour strains of the ducklings adds to this view.
    Rocky was absolutely obsessed by them as can be seen in the pictures, and even Jemima didn't perceive him as a threat. We had to recover one duckling who climbed into the flower bed and got lost but he was soon returned to his mum.
    It has been a lovely day!
    Kind regards
    Ken"

    (a) First view of the world

    (b) It's a tight squeeze in the nest

    (c) There's more room when mum goes out

    (d) Jemima proudly shows off the new brood

    (e) A ball of fluff

    (f) Rocky is intrigued

    (g) The two different colour strains are evident

    (h) Rocky has to smell them

    (i) Brave duckling exploring the reeds

    (j) Rocky still can't make out what these things do

    (k) One of the lighter colour ducklings

    (l) Rocky finally has to lick one

    (m) Safely recovered after getting lost in the flowerbed

    (n) Safely to bed after a long first day

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful photos. I feel priviledged to see them and catch a glimpse of the life of Jemima and her beautiful ducklings.

    Best Wishes
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. Mama
    Member

    Wowed again Ken, Congratulations to you all, they bring tears to my eyes. You are so lucky that Jemima has adopted you and your family , an absolute delight. Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  10. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi Sara,Hi Mama
    Thanks for putting the pictures on the site Sara. I'm so glad you both found them of interest.
    The ducklings have been very active today and Rocky is exhausted from his "close protection" detail. He chased off a cat and a magpie this afternoon. We will miss him when he goes back to Germany on Monday.
    For the past two nights I have been "sleeping" in the lounge so I could watch the duckhouse in case of a fox raid but Jemima and the ducklings are sleeping in the greenhouse tonight so they will be safe and I will get some rest.
    You are right, Mama. We are very, very lucky to be able to enjoy this experience.
    Kind regards
    Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  11. quax
    Member

    Well, as Mama put it, Wow!! Yet again some superb pictures, my son has just had a look and wishes ours would have ducklings, not sure whether our cats would behave though.
    Wish my pond looked as clean as yours too.
    Rachel

    Rachel
    Posted 9 years ago #
  12. yanky
    Member

    Absolutely fabulous! Well done Ken!
    Yan.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  13. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi All
    A sad day I'm afraid. One of the ducklings is dead.
    There was a huge commotion on the pond with Jemima and the ducklings splashing about in all directions, and a pigeon and a dunnock flapping against the glass in the greenhouse. Not sure how it happened but clearly something spooked them. I was on the scene in seconds but can only guess it was either a sparrowhawk attack or one of the wild Mallard drakes having a go at Jemima. I found the duckling floating on the water and guess it either had a broken neck or was drowned in the chaos.
    Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  14. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Oh dear, thats so sad. I hope they can settle down again without another repeat attack.
    Sarah.

    Sarah L
    Posted 9 years ago #
  15. Mama
    Member

    Ken, what can I say, you must feel rotten. Do hope the rest stay safe. Regards Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  16. Lorna
    Member

    Hi Ken

    I am very sorry to hear that a little duckling has died. They are all so beautiful too and the pictures are lovely to look at, ducklings are so cute. The captions above the pictures are great.

    Sounds like you have a very busy time with the fox watching, they are awful pests.
    I lost 2 ducks at least to them, it is very galling. I hope the other ducklings will be OK.

    Best Wishes
    Lorna.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  17. yanky
    Member

    Oh poor you Ken--you must be devastated! Bet it was the sparrowhawk. They are so horrid!
    Fingers crossed for the other little beauties. We are all routing for them!!
    Yan.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  18. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi All

    Back on line again, and thanks for all your comments. It's amazing how quickly you can get attached to a little ball of fluff. I suppose that losses are probable if you want them to live a free and independent life in the garden and ultimately fly away. Having said that, I am still locking them in the greenhouse overnight!!!

    Like Yan, I am now convinced it was a Sparrowhawk that caused the panic. I have seen 5 birds of prey today (more correctly, Jemima alerted us to their presence with her low pitched warning call and her head tipped to one side). They were all so high up they were like dots (ducks have incredible eyesight) but on one occasion I saw the bird pull in its wings and dive at incredible speed, pulling out again near the ground before hitting any prey. Does anyone know if this is Sparrowhawk behaviour? I have read that Hobbies do it but I don't think they are common round here.

    Despite trying to keep the ducklings semi-wild, they have got to the mischievous stage now and are constantly under my feet. I was doing some DIY outside today and they were constantly climbing over my tools and wood.

    Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  19. Mama
    Member

    Oh Ken , How lovely your ducklings are, you must think you are in wildlife heaven .We had a Sparrow hawk take a 3 week old chick right before our eyes. Heard a commotion from our cockerel and hens, went to the run and it flew in front of me with the chick in it's tallons.I was no more than six feet away. It was an amazing site or would have been if it had not had one my chicks in its grasp. It is very sad but they also have to eat. Caught between the devil and deep blue sea!!! hope it stays away from you from now on. Sparrow Hawks drop like a lead weight and you have descibed their behaviour very well. I have seen hobbies catch chafers and eat them in flight which is really something when you consider how small a chafer is. Very best wishes to Jemima and babies and you too, PS, How is Darcy doing? Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  20. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi Mama

    As you say...it is nature and they have to live too! It must have been awful, though, for you to see your chick actually taken. Although I love nature, I have given up watching nature programmes on TV these days as they seem to revel in showing animals being brought down, killed and torn apart. It may be nature but it doesn't mean I want to see it.

    Thanks for the info on the Sparrowhawk behaviour as I'm not good on recognition with birds of prey. I got a video clip of one eating a pigeon in our garden a few years ago so I will get a still frame from it and see if you can confirm it was a Sparrowhawk.

    Still no sign of Darcy. Last year he was in attendance every day when Jemima was sitting and during the raising of the ducklings. Haven't seen him for several weeks now so I'm beginning to suspect the worst. Not a good season so far!

    Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  21. yanky
    Member

    Hi Ken-what you describe of the drawing in of wings & diving is typical sparrowhawk behaviour but our buzzards do it in courtship & also swap prey between male & female whilst flying. I got to know the sparrowhawk very well last year as it took all my white doves!! They can also be very devious sitting motionless in a bush for example near the bird table!
    Oh dear poor Darcy but maybe it isn't all bad. He's maybe got the attention of another female!!
    Fingers crossed
    Yan.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  22. have only just caught up with all of this news Ken your photos are brilliant, sad about the duckling and un hatched eggs,

    I totaly share your views on wildlife programmes how they have changed

    I as you know keep my ducks as pets and so their garden pen has a net cover over it, when they are fully grown are they still at risk from birds of prey or will it just be cats and foxes do you know Mo

    mo x
    Posted 9 years ago #
  23. Ken have you thought about electric fencing around the pool for night times

    mo x
    Posted 9 years ago #
  24. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi Lorna, Yan

    Sorry to hear about your fox attacks, Lorna. I hope you have been able to keep your ducks safe since then. Foxes are such a pain. I got to know our fox quite well when Jemima was sitting and I was on the nightly "fox-watch". I even got some photographs of him/her....nice looking but evil intent! Jemima's remaining 11 ducklings are doing well and don't seem at all bothered about being locked up all night with their mum.

    ....And again, sorry about your doves, Yan. It seems that if we keep animals, we all have to be prepared for such losses, no matter how careful we are. Such a shame though. As compensation, watching your buzzards display must be truly awesome.
    I am hoping you are right about Darcy and that he is "having a fling" somewhere!!!
    Kind regards
    Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  25. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi Maureen
    I'm no expert but when the ducklings are fully grown I think the major problem will be foxes as poor Lorna found to her cost in an earlier posting.
    A local cat did get hold of Jemima last year but she managed to fight it off before a neighbour could intervene. Jemima may just have been lucky though.
    I have seen sparrowhawks take pigeons and you will have read that Yan lost her doves to them, but I haven't heard of them going for anything bigger. I have read, however, that larger birds of prey like goshawks and buzzards are capable of taking something the size of a chicken!
    In the words of the film....."Watch the skies"
    Regards, Ken
    PS: Yes, I was "promised" the loan of an electric fence from a horse owning friend but it hasn't materialised yet. I think it would be the answer.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  26. Hi Ken,
    I am so sorry to hear about the little duckling. Hope all well with Jemima and the other ducklings. Hope Mr Darcy is ok too, fingers crossed he will return, wondering what the fuss is!
    Best Wishes
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  27. yanky
    Member

    Hi Ken
    I have been told that sparrowhawks can manage no larger than a pigeon but interestingly buzzards etc prefer carrion rather than killing their own. Don't know how true that is but I know when I first got my hens I was concerned as we also have kestrels but they have never attacked them (thats probably the kiss of death!!)
    Yan.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  28. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Hi Ken, with regard to the bird of prey attack, we have many Kestrels and Buzzards here and they do not bother our ducks at all. The buzzard will often sit atop a post in our garden, watching for voles, mice and worms, the ducks totally ignore it. Kestrels go for small mammals too.
    Sparrowhawks on the otherhand do catch birds, but normally hunt under tree cover - dashing through undercover and snatching birds from feeders. I'm sure they don't swoop down out of the sky with wings drawn back. This is a falcon stoop, not hawk behaviour. Though rare in your area, it is more likely a hobby, a merlin or even a peregrine. This is not to say that your little duckling wasn't taken by a sparrowhawk on another attack, it probably was... :(
    Regards,
    Sarah L

    Sarah L
    Posted 9 years ago #
  29. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi All
    Thanks for all this extremely interesting information. My bird of prey recognition only extends to buzzards wheeling in the sky and kestrels hovering. Other than that I am out of my depth.
    It would be really exciting to think I was watching a hobby, merlin or peregrine. I will try to get some video clips of the "stoop" (...something else I learned today!)
    Kind regards
    Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  30. Mama
    Member

    Hi Ken, If you really want to see all these birds of prey everyday , you must visit France. We have commen buzzards everyday and also kestrels , kites, black and red ,osprey in season, sparrow hawks,honey buzzard,hobbies , Montagues and other harriers plus falcons. All through the winter and spring we have egrets. They are all magnificient birds unless they have done you or yours some harm.Hobbies are the most fascinating as they circle in a group and catch and eat on the wing over us . I shall try this summer to do a short video of them. Rescued a black redstart today from the outbuilding , it was flying into the window on the inside , so put my hand over it and released it through the door. Such a pretty little thing and weighed next to nothing. Hope the duckies are all well and happy in the penthouse suite, (GREENHOUSE). Regards Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply »

You must log in to post.