A short but sweet relationship

It was another busy week last week on the social front when we had a visit from Kevin’s mum and sister. The weather was lovely for them and we managed to get out and about quite a bit, enjoying some of the wonderful scenery on Skye. The colours were particularly vibrant, with the heather making a significant contribution to nature’s palate.

Trottenish ridge

Dunveagan Castle

En route to Plockton

Another thing which we were able to share with them was the short, but sweet life of Puff’s latest arrival, which made its appearance in the world a couple of days before their own.

Puff, duckling no.1 and Bumblebee

Although she had been sitting on about fifteen eggs, only one hatched. Strangely, at first, she didn’t seem too interested in her new offspring – or it in her for that matter – and she kept leaving it to its own devices. So much so that on the second day, I locked mother and duckling in the duck house for an hour or so in the hope of providing some serious bonding time! It seemed to work and Puff was definitely more attentive afterwards. Even so, looking out for the duckling seemed very much a family affair, with all the Muscovies playing a part, particularly the older duckling which, after an initial aggressive attitude towards the newcomer, was often seen cuddling up with Puff and the youngster.

A family cuddle - Lucky and chance looking on

 With its black and yellow colouring, the wee mite reminded us all of an extremely busy bumblebee as it ran around the garden searching for who knows what in the grass! It was certainly an entertaining little soul and so you can imagine our distress when Kevin found it dead in the nest box at about a week old. There was no sign of injury, so we suspected that maybe it got suffocated whilst sharing the nest with Puff and the larger duckling. We’ve not had much luck on the duck front recently as none of the eggs we were incubating  – about the time of Chance’s arrival –  developed fully. Nothing much a l’orange  this winter then!

On a more cheerful note, things took a more positive turn with Brenda’s ailing chicks and in the end, although she lost four to aspergillosis, her remaining ten made a full recovery. Also Lucky and Chance are doing well and quacking loudly, which is good news for them as it means that they’re female! Francis Drake, MacRae and Huff are about as much male as we can cope with!

Dust bath time for the kids!


Chance and Lucky

When I went into one of our guest rooms the other day, I was greeted by the lovely sight of a trio of swallows sitting on the ‘phone wire just outside the window! They were doing lots of chattering, no doubt discussing the best flight path for their imminent migration!

Making plans


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