No mixed bathing!

Bewildered

The ARS can be forgiven for looking a bit bewildered, as a couple of days ago they found themselves involuntarily confined to the paddling pool!  MacRae and the Cherry Bs have finally discovered the gap under the fence leading to a wider world, immediately declaring the drainage ditch a strictly ‘no mixed bathing’ facility it would seem! 

Ditch discovery

Since then however, MacRae and his girls spend most of their time dabbling in the field and being fairly civilized about sharing all bathing facilities – most of the time! They’ve also been exceptionally good at learning the location of their new temporary home and are probably the easiest of our garden inhabitants to usher indoors of an evening.

On the subject of evening behaviour, I forgot to mention at an earlier date the bedtime routine of one of the Wick Chicks. After all three had successfully accepted Snowball’s coop as their home, one of the birds has decided that it’s not for her and prefers the bench in the utility room! So now, every evening we have to pick her off the bench and put her into the coop! Maybe she just likes a cuddle as we’re always rewarded by a lovely, crooning chicken song when we pick her up! In poultry books, birds are generally classed as either show, or utility breeds. Kevin reckons that our Wick Chick is just confirming that she’s well aware of her identity and obviously, a utility breed needs a utility room!  There’s no denying the logic!

Going back to ducky events, we had a pretty major one this week. Huff took to the air!!! I think that maybe he was just as surprised as we were! Kevin came in to say that he could have sworn that he saw Biggles and Huff flying down the adjacent field towards the phone box. We both went out to look for them and managed to find Biggles back in tha garden, but no Huff. After searching for ten minutes, suddenly a familiar head popped up next to the fence in the field on the opposite side of the road. He had a look about him which suggested that he wasn’t quite sure how to accomplish his flying feat a second time, so Kevin climbed over the fence with a rescue in mind. Kevin’s purposeful approach was obviously just the right kind of encouragement, as the daring drake performed an almost vertical take-off over the fence, across the road, over the garden and into the field! It was quite a sight – and sound for that matter. We’ve not seen him do it since, but maybe he’s seen me lurking with my camera and is shy! Interestingly, any literature we have on Muscovies says that only females and juveniles fly, as the males are too heavy! Don’t you just love to prove a theory wrong!

Perfect perch

One duck who isn’t shy however is Puff, as yesterday she followed Biggles’ example and flew onto the roof of the wee building outside the kitchen window. Presumably Biggles must have told her that it’s a good spot for observing human behaviour! We clipped her wings when she first arrived after a worrying aeronautical display when we thought we might lose her before we got to know her. However, she’s had a moult recently and obviously her flight feathers have re-grown. It’s a joy to watch her cautiously re-discovering her powers of flight. Hopefully she’ll manage to have a few aerial adventures before any springtime broodiness sets in.

Actually, it’s great to watch all three Muscovies and their antics as they are such characters! As I’ve said previously, Huff is a different bird since we moved them into the garden and wags his tail so much, it must ache by bedtime! They’ve obviously been observing the ARs who are regular visitors to the kitchen door for potential treats, and are now never far away themselves if they hear the  door open! Whichever window they appear at, they just know that we can’t resist giving them attention of some kind…

We can see you!

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