It is with some embarrassment that I post this article. For several reasons.
The first is that during the cooler months of the year we have two and sometimes three Pacific Black Ducks visit our garden, specifically to take a dip in our swimming pool – or should I call that Le Swamp? (I’m not very good at maintaining it.) On several occasions we have had to rescue about a dozen little ducklings that have followed their mother into the pool, only to find that they cannot get out again and head off down to the river a few kilometres away. We love seeing the ducks up so close, but I do feel embarrassed about the state of the “pool”.
Late last week I was sitting on the back veranda enjoying the lovely spring sunshine and reading a good book. It could have even been The Good Book. The ducks flew in and skidded on the surface of the pool water before settling down for a spot of sun as well.
After about ten minutes they both entered the water and began excitedly circling each other, constantly dipping their beaks into the water. Now comes embarrassing admission #2. I actually witnessed them in a moment of passionate embrace! The male mounted the female, grabbing her neck feathers in his beak and holding her head just out of the water. Her body was totally submerged.
This wonderful moment was followed by ten minutes of excited flapping, splashing, ducking under the water and general preening as the couple celebrated their union.
I wonder if we’ll have a raft of ducklings in the pool in a few weeks time?