Spring 2017: Quakie comes home

I must apologise for neglecting this blog for such a long time. My original intention was to transcribe notes that I had made of  raising our little mallard ducklings to blog posts, then back dating the posts to reflect the actual date of the events. Unfortunately, I kept falling further behind in this task.

Life went on, events occurred that took away not just my attention but my desire to write, and before I knew it, the next spring (2016) had arrived, along with 2 of our ducks and their mates. A whole new series of events began that I managed to document, but had not the time to turn into blog posts.

Quakie just before she flew away at the end of July 2016. We would not see her for 6 months.

I plan on a different approach this year, namely, writing and posting about events as they occur, while working on the backlog of posts for 2015 and 2016. Hopefully this way the current news will always be online even as old stories wait to be published!

Quakie returned today, after an absence of exactly 6 months (she left on 30th July 2016) with a handsome drake in tow. We can’t tell if it is Frankie, who was Quakie’s mate last year. He looks like Frankie, but seems quieter. It’s hard to tell with drakes anyway – in breeding plumage they all look the same to me. Quakie, we will always recognise from the unusual peachy orange colouring on her pretty face and the bright orange corners on her bill.

Our frozen pond and frost-covered garden, two weeks ago.

The two of them have been resting or sleeping on the pond most of the day, Quakie in particular looks quite tired, and does not seem to be looking for food.

The pond, which was frozen inches deep just a few days ago,  has thawed out, but the water is still very cold. The two ducks seem nervous and don’t tolerate us coming near them. They fly away the moment we try to approach or even when we step near the door of the house. We can only watch them through binoculars. Quite disappointing as we had so looked forward to seeing Quakie again. However she’s like a stranger!

Quakie and boyfriend relax at our pond.

After nesting season was over last year, we took down the duck nesting tube we had

built, the one which Tipsy had used to great success with her 2nd brood, dismantled it, threw away the used straw, and put it away for this year, intending to install it before Quakie or Tipsy arrived in the spring. We didn’t expect Quakie to come in early February however. She is one month earlier than she was last year!

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