Monday, October 09, 2006

Moby and Dixie flew the nest...














Sorry for no posts for ages

Moby and Dixie had a fantastic time at mums when I was in India, they were spoilt rotten! Also whilst there Moby taught Dixie how to grub up insects from the ground - and make a right mess of their water bowls in the process, by rinsing their beaks of soil each time!!! It took Mum a while to realise (and it was my sister's partner who worked it out) why their bowls had a thick layer of soil at the bottom, despite cleaning them out several times a day!

When the ducks came back to my home they stayed outside in their run constantly. After a while I realised I needed to find Dixie a larger bowl to swim in. I left the smaller bowl for Moby and placed an old washing up bowl in the run. Dixie couldn't believe her luck... and Moby was right put out, I watched Moby all evening attempting to climb up into the new bowl, as it wasn't right that she couldn't hog it!!! By the morning she had worked out a system... get into her bowl, climb onto the edge and scarmble up into the big bowl... Yep, in the morning, Moby was swimming in the big bowl and Dixie was standing squashed into the little one!!! They then worked out a compromise... Dixie could have the big bowl until Moby's jealousy got too much (10 mins at most) and Moby would then jump in to join Dixie, who would promptly climb out...

Moby turned out to be a (big!) “Little Grebe” (also known as “Dab Chick”) and Dixie is a huge white “Beatrix Potter” duck
...

It is now Autumn and the river ducks are losing their pairings, so now is the best time to introduce new ducks to an area and have the local population happily accept them!!!

Also, in mid September, Moby learnt to fly in my garden... I am not sure who was more surprised - Me or Moby; as she flapped her wings in excitement and took off! She didn't know what to do, so went horizontal until she crash landed in the raspberries!!! I knew I was going to have to now release them pretty promptly...

Mixed feelings September 23rd...

Therefore I released Moby and her big sister Dixie on Sept 23rd from my parents land, onto a Thames offshoot and some Islands opposite (mixed feelings from my behalf!) The release was very successful; Moby took off as soon as her feet touched the water and then wouldn’t stop flying between the islands and the “mainland” sending the local mallards scattering!!! Dixie (after her initial "help where am I?" was inundated with friendly attention from the local ducks and geese with her amazing good looks!!!


Dixie looking out at all the water (their new home) from her travelling "cage" - surely Moby cannot hog all of that?!!!







At first Moby and Dixie were inseparable (and looked a right odd pair!) but Moby has now merged successfully with a grown up family of Little Grebes (and is still flying a lot!) and Dixie is happily swimming with the mallards and is still gaining a lot of attention – we may have some odd looking ducklings next year!!!

For a while I didn't see the ducks, but my Mother wasn't worried as all the ducks (inc Dixie) apparently swim each day up to the pub a couple of river miles away to beg for food!!!

Hopefully no-one will find other ducklings wandering along the streets of Didcot next year!!! But just in case… I may be willing!!! (I have kept the run...)

No photos (yet) of them on the river... I'll see if I can get some later this year.