Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nice Day for Ducks

Not much good for anyone else today!

Ducks are commonplace in the enclave that is Wattle Downs. Attracted no doubt by several artificial 'wetlands' such as this. I understand that they are protected here too. It's all very good when they stay where they are meant to be, here in their manmade oasis, but when they venture to the end of the peninsula where our school is located, they become Public Enemy Number One.
The first mother ducks, and often there are two or three, usually arrive shortly before the September holiday break. All very cute with their downy little ducklings trailing behind them throughout the school grounds. Until they start terrorising the children that is. Not content with the scraps of food that are inadvertently (yes, and deliberately) left on the ground for them, they literally steal lovingly packed lunches from the hands of five-year-olds,  and even venture into unattended school bags for a snack. They get so bold as to enter classrooms on occasion, leaving their calling cards wherever the 'need' demands.
Gradually the number of ducklings dwindles off - not quite sure what the attrition rate can be accredited to, but we did find one in the toilet once, and another with quite a tangle around its leg. One did run into my foot once when I was on duty (actually that was a mother not a duckling...) Seems that the school grounds are not safe for the students OR the ducklings.
Our Principal tried several avenues for having them removed a couple of years back, to no avail. These days we find that they have actually moved on after the summer break - food supply dried up and ducklings flown the coop so to speak.

Mother ducks, know your place. It's so much better for all in the long run. And your place - see above - is lovely for you on a day like today. Not me though. I knew my place - on the couch watching tennis.

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