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.
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.