It is amazing watching the ducklings and the mother duck. She seems to instinctively how far to push her ducklings. Why they were first hatched, she kept them near the nest with the bundles of fluff hidden under her wings. Then she took them on the the lawn and had a meeting with the other ducks. Next she marched them across the bridge but would not take them down the headland. Then yesterday when I returned from an RNA Northumberland Border Reivers meetings, she decided -- right this is it and marched them down the headland, across the middle pond, down to where the lower pond was (in need of repair due to storms and a large flood of water surging through the stream) and out under the water gate to the neighbor's' garden.
My husband and children then spent several anxious minutes, shooing her back up into our garden. We counted. 14 still there. I did not know ducklings could move that fast.
Another problem encountered yesterday was that of a sparrow hawk deciding to visit the garden. We have stretched green netting over the duck enclosure but the ducklings are allowed out of the enclosure.
Today, the ducklings are not sticking as close to their mother but they stil move as a rolling scrum. They did attempt to revisit next door's garden but the children were dispatched and they have returned. A quick count reassured us that 14 is still the magic number. We have also finished repairing the dam and the lower pond has now filled with water. Fingers crossed that they no longer go on walkabout.
I must learn how to put photos on this blog so that everyone can see the ducklings....as they are very cute.