As I awoke this morning I was aware of quacking noises outside.
Now, although we live in Murray Bridge which is situated on the Murray River, Australia’s longest river, our property is a good five kilometres from the river.
The quacking persisted. Those ducks are here again, I thought. Pacific Black Ducks are common in this area and are not restricted to just the river itself. It is not usual to find them in parks and gardens. Two, sometimes three, are regular visitors to our own garden.
“Our” ducks have taken a liking to our in-ground swimming pool (affectionately known as “the swamp” – look at the photos and you will know why). Almost daily they visit for a swim or just to laze by the poolside. They don’t seem to mind how frosty it gets here in winter, poolside is the place to be.
Last year they slipped a surprise under our radar. Before we knew it, we were the adopted “grandparents” of six ducklings. Sadly, their parents abandoned them. We quickly discovered that raising little ducklings is not a skill one acquires overnight. They were far too weak, cold, wet and hungry when we took over as substitute parents, and they all died, despite our best efforts.
Update: this post was updated on 5th November 2013 with better photos. The mother duck with ten ducklings was taken on another occasion.