Archive for Ducks

Duck racing in Bishopswood

Today we went to the duck racing at Mill Leat in Bishopswood.  Not real ducks I hasten to add, but little yellow plastic ducks all numbered and tipped into the Yarty river.  We had to buy a ticket with a number on, and then that was the number of your duck.  We followed their progress down the river.

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Some got caught on stones along the way and had to be guided off.  One would dash past and then another would overtake.  The organiser had a loud haler and was calling out their progress.  There was money to be won on the duck first past the post.

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We didn’t win anything in any of the 3 races, but it was a bit of fun, a bit of madness on a Summer’s afternoon.  There were also other duck themed activities.  Instead of a coconut shy there was a duck shy.

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Neil’s sister was with us and she knocked down two ducks.  Then she had a go at throwing hoops round ducks.

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There were other duck stalls too and some people even dressed in duck costumes. The face painting for the children was ducks on their cheeks!

But we rather more sedately retired with a Pimms!

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The last thing was the tug of war between Bishopswood and Buckland St Mary.  Neil was in the Buckland team and went prepared in boots and gloves, but they still lost!

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You can see the lovely thatched house in the background, in whose grounds the event took place.

They are going to try and make it an annual event.  It was well supported and everyone had a bit of fun.  Other villages hold duck races too so maybe its just a local thing around here.  We certainly had never heard of it until we moved here.

If you want to see what other mad things we get up to in the country visit us at

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Visit to Ferne Animal Sanctuary

Yesterday being a lovely sunny day, and even better than that it was my birthday, we decided to go out to lunch and we visited the modern new cafe at Ferne Animal Sanctuary.  Had yummy Thai fish cakes and then went for a wonder all round the grounds and looked at all the rescued animals.

They have a number of free range hens of all different breeds.

Ferne's free range hens

There were also some newly rescued ex battery hens which were still in a sorry state.  At least now they can scratch around in the open and in time their feathers will grow back.

An ex battery hen in a sad and sorry way

At Ferne there are a variety of animals and birds including some geese that have their own pond and enclosure…

Ferne's geese

and some goats that have a big field to roam around in……..

Ferne's goats

There are rescued cows and an odd mix of old sheep….

Ferne's sheep

And then there are horses, cats and dogs, bunnies, chipmunks, chinchillas, an avairy of birds and a few others too.  It’s a lovely spot with paths around the grounds and a great view…

view from Dragonfly pond

Ferne animal sanctuary do a great job taking in unwanted pets, and rehoming where possible, but where it isn’t possible they provide a permanent home.  All this is done with donations from the public, there is no charge to enter.  So before we left we made a contribution to all their good work.

Then it was back home to look after our B&B guests.  visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Ever heard of homing ducks?

Further to my blog of 15th June, lo and behold this pair of ducks have waddled their way all the way back to our neighbours where they came from.  This is about half a mile.  They would have had to cross a road (not that busy) and waddle all the way as their wings are clipped so they couldn’t fly.   All the searching for them, and no wonder we couldn’t find them if they were making their way home.  Who would have thought ducks would have a homing instinct, or did they just get lucky and head in the right direction? We’ll never know, but these ducks voted with their feet, they obviously didn’t want to live with us, so there we are.

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The lamentable tale of the ducks

Our neighbour was having problems with Mr Fox getting to his ducks and hens, so he decided to offload some of the ducks, and we agreed to take a mating pair.  They  arrived yesterday afternoon, and we set them down in the hen enclosure, with appropriate trays full of water and a little corn.  They wandered around the hen run, making sweet little cooing quacking noises to each other and we fell in love with them.  We made appropriate provision for them at night, and when dusk fell we tried to cajole them into it.  But they were having none of it, and they ran all around the enclosure and in hindsight we think they got spooked and  flew up about 2 feet and through the poultry net.  That was unforseen, that bid for freedom.

The ducks arrive

Before we could think about how to catch them, they had run, and they are quick, into the undergrowth between us and the farm below.  It’s quite a thicket and we couldn’t see where they had gone.  We went round to the farm and into the thicket that way, but to no avail.  By this time it was 10pm and dark, so we left it overnight, and thought we would have another go at getting them back in the morning.

9.30am this morning, another neighbour came over to help. She went into the undergrowth, saw them and shooed them out onto our land, but they were so quick that they just went back into the undergrowth again and wouldn’t come out.

This afternoon she brought over 2 more ducks in a cage hoping that their quacking would bring the original pair back out, but to no avail. And we couldn’t see them in the undergrowth where they were this morning, so they could have gone anywhere, maybe into the woods.

It is unlikely now that we will see them again.  In the thicket they had some protection from Mr Fox, but if they go into the woods, where there is water, they will be too open to preditors.

What a sad state of affairs.  Our 2 little ducks were only with us for 5 hours!  We will have to have a different arrangement of fencing if we get ducks again in the future, and that will take some sorting out, so I doubt it will be soon.

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