Sunday, 21 February 2010

Lucky ducks

Mallards on an almost completely frozen village pond got an unexpected treat yesterday evening. Out on a study break/run in the car with my daughter we found the planned location for our trip (a walled garden centre) closed by the time we got there.

A back-up plan of a container of the homemade garden bird mix (I had made during the winter days when I wasn’t able to get my regular mixes) was tucked away in the car. Feeding the ducks (usually with bread) at a familiar spot along the River Tay in Perth was the next location.

Then I remembered nearby pond at New Scone (just outside Perth) where ducks could also be seen. Perhaps easier to feed a seed mix there too. What I wasn’t expecting was the pond to be almost completely frozen over. That made feeding the birds seed (some of the mix small grain) very easy. I just scattered it across the ice and there was no need for the birds to charge towards us on the path.

The sun was beginning to set and it felt great to be giving these birds an unexpected feed at a time when many had already tucked their heads for the night. This mix, that my birds were becoming a bit fussy about now was being very well received! What a lovely sound was coming from the ducks too which you can hear in the video below.

No extra background music in this video.


Sorry, I feel the need for a good rant now! This wasn’t an idyllic scene.

Okay, so the ducks were very lucky but so too were the two girls we could see playing at the edge of the pond round a bit from where we were standing! Foolishly they were trying out the ice along the edge. Unfortunately, their presence spoiled our visit for my daughter who was becoming seriously stressed that they would walk further out on the ice and fall through.

The pond wasn’t completely frozen over. There was a good sized area beside us that was completely clear from ice. That was why my daughter was so stressed. With these girls on their own she felt a responsibility to be ready to run round to save them should it be necessary. She was working out a plan in her head on what she would do. Poor soul… she was supposed to be on a de-stressing break!

I should say, I too was keeping an eye on the girls. Once they moved safely away to play near bushes, I was persuaded by my daughter to head away too. As we walked around the path to the entrance we heard a voice from across this frozen pond. There were parents on a seat which was out of view to us where we stood feeding the ducks. Thank goodness the girls were not alone!

I’ll guess the call was to say don’t play any further away… but there was no call when they were testing the ice! So… my rant is to the parents who were sitting on the other side of this pond (too far away if the girls fell in). They caused us (and anyone else) stress watching their children!

Yes, perhaps they were locals and that edge isn’t deep. Perhaps, they were not concerned. However, any depth of ice can cause safety issues.

What if other children watched this and thought walking on any ice was safe. Lucky these girls were this time… however… children are not ducks!!



Sorry, this wasn’t my planned posting for today. This is an extra one for today. I had intended just the video with very basic text. Ah well... I do have a post sitting waiting for later today. I’ve had a waiting game this week with my cameras.

I’ll wait just a few hours more. Do come back later this evening. Meantime have a great day. It’s a bright blue sky and sunny morning here. Hope it’s nice with you too :-D


The photo above is a screen grab from the video shown above taken at New Scone pond on February 20th 2010.

10 comments:

Midmarsh John said...

A very enjoyable piece of video Shirl. Obviously enjoyable for the ducks also.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Ducks are so vocal. It is fun to watch them. I probably would have been yelling at those children to get off the ice if I had been there.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Shirl, great piece of video. The ducks were really enjoying their late feed and being very vocal about it!

I could feel my blood starting to boil when I discovered the parents were there too and can imagine how you and your daughter must have felt. I'm with your daughter there, I would have got very het up and it would have spoilt the visit for me. Our local canal was frozen in the recent bad weather and police and security guards from the nearby shopping centre were frequently called to incidents with children and even adults!! walking on it. Our local paper reported that the police said if anyone had fallen through they wouldn't have stood a chance!

Sorry to have missed commenting on the previous post but I did enjoy it and seeing the comparisons between last February and this.

We had a huge amount of snow fall in just over sn hour early this morning but thankfully it has nearly all gone now.

Enjoy the rest of Sunday and have a great week Shirl :)

Sue Swift said...

Oh dear. Sorry that what should have been a fun outing was spoilt. I'm the same -it often terrifies me to see what parents let theor kids get up to ...

Dan said...

What a lovely noise they are making, sounds like they are very happy with your offerings!

shirl said...

Hi there, John. Glad you enjoyed it. It was lovely to see the ducks enjoy something other than bread… got rid of the small seeds which is a bonus too :-D

shirl said...

Hi there, Lisa. I have to confess to not realising the mallards had so many different voices. It was great to see them enjoy the food without them charging towards us too. Quite civilised they were :-)

Ah… yes, had the children persisted much longer I was considering going across to speak to them. Once we saw there were parents there it was easier for us to leave :-)

shirl said...

Hi again, Jan. Thanks, it really was great to hear the varied vocals of the ducks. I was imagining them chattering about getting an unexpected late supper ;-)

Yes, the parents being there was a surprise to us. It’s always a tricky balance speaking to children in cases like this don’t you think. Another spin might have been that they would try to prove me wrong if I suggested they could fall through the ice. They might have walked further after we had left. The girls were on the edge that had a sloped side but non-the-less it would have been deep enough to cause them problems! I was watching them closely. It did spoil the visit I have to say.

Yes, the novelty of frozen ice will always be a draw. I guess many see it as a game to see how far out they can get too. I find it horrific to hear of accidents on ice especially where a passer-by loses their life trying to help. Hearing of pet owners trying desperately to save their dogs too makes my very sad. Ice can break so quickly. It’s all over once you go under in most cases.

No probs re commenting. Honestly, its lovely to have your visit when you can.

Gosh… that sounded like a huge amount of snow there! Hope that’s the last snow you see for now. Fortunately for us we’ve been having cold, frosty mornings but the sun has managed to get out and we’ve had lovely blue skies.

Thanks, we had a good day. Hope you did too. School daughter’s exams start tomorrow so it will be a different kind of week. These are her Prelims for her main exams in May. I can hear her moving about in her room above me… she can’t be getting to sleep tonight. Fingers crossed for her this week :-D

Wishing you a great week too :-D

shirl said...

Hi again, Sue. Thanks, yes we’ve seen others too. One other instance springs to mind where we actually intervened when a parent was there but not looking as his young child began to fall of a fairground ride.

My husband jumped up on to the ride but he himself could have been hurt. As the parent hadn’t noticed the risk the child was in at the time he wasn’t even appreciative of his help :-o

shirl said...

Hi again, Dan. I couldn’t agree more. That was the main reason I decided to share this video. I had a longer piece of footage that I was tempted to use too ;-)