My regular reader will recall that I often marvel at the gross stupidity of the nations favourite water fowl, the Mallard. As well as being a bird blessed with very little brain, evolution has dealt the Mallard another bum hand when it comes to reproduction…

You see, Mallards end up with a Duck to Drake ratio of around 1:2, nobody knows why, but for each dowdy brown duck, there is at least 2 dapper, well presented drakes resplendent in emerald and desperately seeking female attention. This time of year, after sporadic winter visits, we get serious duck action on the farms ponds. We currently have a posse of 2 ducks, and 4 drakes who have taken up residence, eating the corn we leave out for them, and rewarding us with ducky exploits.

The drakes are currently in ‘wrestle’ mode……….locking beaks and testing their strength against each other, given the current state of the garden this rapidly descends into a mud wrestle, with both birds becoming brown and bedraggled pretty quickly.

The problem is what follows next……………victorious drakes believe that the resident ducks are so impressed with their wrestling prowess, that they will succumb to their manly charms and enjoy a bit of al fresco nookie…………..not so…..Ducks of the female variety are singularly uninterested in nookie, and have a wide and varied vocabulary which they use to tell their suitors to bog off. In truth I am being polite, the language that comes out of those ducks bills is simply not suitable for a family blog.

What follows next is too shocking to watch, the poor duck is chased round the ponds by both the victorious wrestler and any stray stragglers that have yet to be sent packing. Despite her loud crys any drake close enough will have his evil way with her……………they are noisy, and don’t care who watches………but the end result in May, will be a clutch of adorable yellow and brown ducklings that we can watch for another season.

Talking of May…………like most we are looking forward to when the current wet weather turns into something a little more pleasant, the snowdrops are out, and the first primula’s are showing flashes of gold in the borders……………it wont be long before the fat buds in the hedgerows start changing our monochrome landscape into a rich tapestry of greens……..we hope that you will come and visit us at the farm to enjoy the spectacle.

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