Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The great escape

Since the flooding incident a couple of weeks ago at the bottom of the garden the ducks have realised, to their delight, that next door has a fully flowing stream in their garden.

After a bit of investigation I've found that the dry stream bed running alongside my veg patch is actually just an overflow. The stream runs the length of my neighbours garden and into the bottom of mine where it is diverted into a pipe underneath the vegetable patch. There is about three feet of soil on top of this and the stream can only be seen entering under the hedge that divides the two gardens.

Before the dry stream bed overflowed the ducks were perfectly content with their man-made pond. I would empty and refill it each morning and they would jump in and splash around throughout the day. Now however they have had a taste of the good life and they want more.

The past two days have consisted of us looking out the window every now and then to see the ducks, yet again, swimming up and down the stream next door. When we first moved in we had a few escape attempts, one day we even found the ducks in the field which backs onto our garden, grazing the grass alongside the herd of sheep that occupy it. Since then I have secured the whole perimeter and the past few months have been peacefully escape free.

My neighbour politely says she enjoys the visits and looks out for them , I wouldn't mind if they could remember which hole they got through in the first place to get back. We have a coppiced hedge that runs between the two and so far I have had difficultly myself seeing a gap big enough for them to squeeze through. They are normally very well behaved and should they start in the correct garden, they will happily put themselves to bed leaving me to go down in the evening and just shut the door of the coop.

This weekend I may coppice the hedges to build up a bit of a barrier .Now is a good time of year to do this as there should be  minimal disturbance to nesting birds and and the last of any berries should by now have gone.

So for now the stand off continues, the ducks are doing no harm and are always within sight of the house. it just means that for the time being at least, we have to check on them every now and again and either herd or carry them back to where they should be.

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