5th March: Nest on the jetty
The weather has been foul and I hadn’t been out onto the jetty for a few days until 4th March. As I went out onto the staging there was a sudden movement in the western flower trough and a duck flew out of it! It turned out it had made a nest there and laid 5 eggs. The next day I checked from inside the shed and the duck was sitting on the nest so I had not scared it away.
For a couple of weeks I avoided going out on to the jetty, while checking from inside the shed that the mother was still sitting, which she was. According to the RSPB web site it takes about 28 days for the eggs to incubate before hatching after which the ducklings stay in the nest for at least 10 hours before taking to the water. After that they don’t need to get back to the nest, which had at first worried me… was I going to have to construct a ramp from the water to the jetty?!
However then each time I checked the mother was not there. I felt the eggs and they seemed cold so I put a twig on top of them which I felt the mother would move if she returned. It was still there days later so I decided the nest had been abandoned, and started going onto the jetty again.
Note 21st March: Now sure that the nest is abandoned and noting that one egg has disappeared, I threw the remaining eggs into the water. I’m sure they will provide food for something!