Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mallard basics

These two individuals seems to have taken up occasional residence in our garden. We've no idea why. The nearest body of water is the Ock, the other side of a main road, a block of flats and a carpark. We thought maybe they had got lost or confused by our high wall and trees, until we saw that when they feel like it they can take off almost vertically. So we can only assume they want a break from the river and are trying out this dry land concept. The other day they climbed up our steps just so that they could do a poo on the top one, then waddled back down to the garden with a sense of a job well done. Duck fact #1: they would make lousy Jehovah's Witnesses.

When we got back this morning they were standing in the middle of the driveway, wack-wacking (ducks don't actually go quack, have you noticed?) quietly to each other like a pair of tourists. They also displayed all the sensitivity that you associate with tourists by totally refusing to take the hint as the car bore down on them. A pigeon or a crow would have been long out of there but these two just moved slowly down the drive. Eventually Best Beloved got out and shooed them ahead, but even then they just waddled a bit more quickly and the wack-wacking got louder. Finally they very reluctantly stood aside and let me pass, but you could see they were thinking "honestly, what is the big metal thing's problem? We were here first."

Duck fact #2 : they have no traffic sense.

When I got out of the car the male duck may have finally twigged there were large mammals around and did the vertical take-off thing, leaving lady duck to fend for herself. Duck fact #3: ducks are no gentlemen.

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