Monday, 8 June 2009

Mallard chicks move to Loch Earn 2 days after hatching at Briar Cottage

Daffy duck (part time guest at Briar Cottages) sneaked off with her 11 brown and yellow fluffy mallard chicks just two days after hatching. They must have climbed down the fountain where the nest was, across the A85 and into Loch Earn. Only 10 chicks returned to our garden on Loch Earn and we wondered whether crows, gulls, pike or eels might have taken one. After feeding daffy returned to the loch over large rocks and the chicks rolled in faithfully after her. Two fell between the rocks. We could hear them cry but not see them and Daffy became distressed as they called out to each other. I followed the sound, picked up some small rocks to unveil two little beaks trapped and huddled together. I picked one chick up and our fisherman guest Danny handled the other. We quickly and gently placed them back in the water in the direction of their mum. Off she went with her 10 babes. This morning she only brought six back and this time they came safely up the slip-way. Nature must provide 8-12 eggs to ensure that at least two or three survive. I wonder if she will manage to protect the six that are left. Thanks to every guest who has stayed in Little Briar cottage in Lochearnhead, Scotland and watched out for Daffy and her male suitors over the last year.
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