Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

A little unexpected interlude from last week. I encountered an unusual sight when I came back to my car following my weekly Pilates class – a mother duck and 8 little ducklings were meandering through the nearby shopping centre car park dodging cars and Christmas shoppers alike. With the day starting to heat up and no obvious water source it was more concerning than cute.

After a while there were 3 of us trying to cajole the little group along. Several phone calls to the local council and various animal rescue groups (including the RSPCA) established that the mother duck almost always knows what she’s doing and would be leading the ducklings back to her usual territory from the nesting site (which is a fair way from the waterside due to fears of predators). The essential thing was not to spook her or she might take flight and abandon her brood. The problem was she kept stopping for little rests often under someone’s car! After several impromptu traffic stops, Mother Duck finally left the car park followed by her adorable tiny ducklings and waddled off down a side street, which had far more shade and shelter in the form of native bushes.

 

 

 

We knew that she must be heading to a local wetlands reserve, Lake Gwelup, which is only a couple of blocks away down the hill but mum decided that her little family needed a rest and so they took up residence under a particularly large and prickly bush near a roundabout. We poured the last of our water bottles over the area to moisten it for them and decided it was best to leave them to find the rest of the way by themselves (by this time our little rescue mission had taken up nearly 2 hours!).

I went back the next day with Monsieur and had a good forage around the bushes – no sign of any ducks or ducklings nor any that had met with misfortune in any of the neighbouring roads. Finally we headed down to Lake Gwelup and walked round a bit. There was a cacophony of noise coming from the tall reeds by the lakeside and a gathering of ducks and ducklings nearby along with some black swans.

 

 

From what I’ve now read the waddle back to the water from their nest is a rite of passage for young ducklings – a journey they undertake with their mother at only a day or so old. Best advice is not to interfere unless there is an obvious danger such as a car park or busy main road in which case gently corral them in a safer direction. The number one thing to avoid is the mother literally taking flight as the ducklings have no chance of survival without her (and hand rearing is very difficult and requires animal specialists).

These ducks were Pacific Black Ducks (actually brown but with a distinctive turquoise marking near their wing base called a speculum). They are well suited to the often harsh Australian climate although predators do account for quite a few of them and unfortunately they have a tendency to mate with the introduced Mallards, which are not so adaptable to Australian conditions.

However, fingers crossed, these little ones will be swimming round the lake for some time to come!

 

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Copyright Β© 2017 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

 

16 thoughts on “A Duck Tale – Mother Duck went out one day ……

  1. KerryCan says:

    Such a sweet story–you and the others are so kind-hearted, to go to the efforts you did! It all makes me think of the children’s book, “Make Way for Ducklings.” https://lovethosehandsathome.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/making-time-for-ducklings/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kerry – they were such a cute little family couldn’t have left them there. Think maybe they had been spooked by something or one of the ducklings escaped and mum followed it into the car park with the rest of her brood – must have been a reason they were there they certainly shouldn’t have been! Mother Duck seemed to know her way again once they got back onto the path and away from the cars so hopefully they found their way back to the water! Will check out your link thanks πŸ™‚

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  2. Heyjude says:

    I can see why you’d be concerned, but in this instance it surely is a case of ‘mother knows best’ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly hope so Jude – that seems to be the best advice. The mother knows what she’s doing and where she’s going though we did our bit by shielding them from the cars! They seemed to take it all in their stride! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. restlessjo says:

    Fun and games! Quite disconcerting to find them there, Rosemay, but I’m glad they made it back safe. Hope you’re feeling recovered after your hectic couple of days. We had our first Christmas meal last Thursday (when it was snowing like crazy πŸ™‚ ) and I’m starting to get in the mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was certainly an unexpected sight Jo – they seemed back on track when we left them and mum knew where she was taking them. Just got back from my Pilates class but no ducks in sight this week! Snow would definitely make me feel like Christmas is coming even though it can’t be much fun going outside. It’s raining here after a hot and steamy weekend so I’m not feeling too Christmassy though my elder daughter is coming over to go Chrisrmas shopping soon as she has a day off work. Hope you have a lovely week πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow Rosemary – that was quite a job trying to help them out! Sounds like they made their way to safety though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was rather a stressful time Joy – they kept going under cars as we were trying to encourage them to go out of the car park! Mother Duck seemed to know where she was going though and ducks are a common sight around that area as there are several lakes nearby though have never seen them in the car park before. Fingers crossed they are all fine now!

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  5. Isabel von Prollius says:

    Lovely photos and I am so glad that they are (most likely) all fine. Years ago, a lady ran over a whole duck family with her car, at the intersection of Davallia and Warwick Road. Most of the ducklings were dead, mum ran off with two survivors and I caught an injured one and took it to the vet, but it died. It was so traumatising! That was in the era before i phones, otherwise I would have been able to take a photo of the rego and report the driver.

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    1. Oh that’s such a heartbreaking story Isabel – they must have come up from Carine Swamp how heartless of that driver. You would have been so traumatised but at least you did what you could for the poor little one. Sincerely hope mum and the 2 other survivors were ok. At least the drivers the other day were all very cooperative including the lady we had to ask to delay her departure so we could get the ducks out from under her car. In the end we agreed that she would start her engine but not move and that gave us time to corral them away. They would have stood no chance otherwise as she would have driven off not knowing they were under the car. Anyway it paid off and mum certainly seemed to know where she was heading – no sign of them later when I came out from a quick trip into the shops and I also checked the bushes and streets around the area the next day and no sign of them then either so trust they made it back to the water. They all seemed strong and healthy! πŸ™‚

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  6. kayrpea61 says:

    Sounds like you were late home from Pilates 🀣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was supposed to be somewhere else – had to ring up to explain!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. pommepal says:

    Nice story with a happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – hope the duck family is happily swimming round the lake now! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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