For the second year running a wild Mallard duck has hatched a family in a Little Paxton garden and, with a little help from her friends, led the brood through village streets to the safety of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve.
Nesting high up in an ivy-covered Hawthorn tree, the Mallard produced 10 ducklings which then gathered with mum on the garden pond. Householder and Friends of Paxton Pits Trustee Ray Matthews takes up the story...
“Last year she produced 9 ducklings and immediately made her way to Hayling Lake on the nature reserve. It was exactly the same this year, only one week earlier. Traffic and perceived threats from pets along the way needed to be negotiated, but it helped that she had a couple of human ‘guardians’ looking out for her and the brood.
The biggest obstacle this year was getting through our garden fence. The goodwill and cooperation of our neighbours came to the rescue, allowing us to plan ahead and cut temporary ‘duck doors’ to speed her on her way.
So this particular female has added at least 19 ducklings to Paxton Pits’ wildlife, much to the pleasure of the volunteers and Rangers who put so much effort in to creating a safe haven.”