Mother’s Day @ the orphanage

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We are between seasons and have been taking in the odd wayward feathered friend.

We have a young budgie who was found unable to fly, a little chicken only 3 weeks old, found in an inner city suburb and yesterday we picked up a lovely Alexandrine who is settling in to her new home nicely!

Our two younger PB’s from last season have been back, much to the delight of my daughter. She named her favourite one ‘Peepers’ and it’s mate was ‘Lucky’. They have both stopped by every morning for a feed for the past two weeks, stocking up for the winter!

We are yet to distribute the wonderful emergency kits that the Cheltenham Girl Guides have helped us put together, they will be handed out to local vets and shelters soon!

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It’s a hot summer here in Bayside!

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Happy Australia Day!

Today we celebrate Australia Day and the ducks displayed a little flag on their fence and we had a beautiful day in the sunshine we were given.

We had thought the breeding seasons were at an end however shortly before and after the new year we had a call for more ducklings. We think because the first season involved a lot of high winds and the weather has been so nice and hot they have all given the second season a good effort! The lastest lot are a funny bunch. One was found on his own and the other three are brothers and sisters and tend to do everything in unison which is just adorable.

Last night Australians were treated to a Duckumentary which was nice and the footage they had of some of the worlds duck species was just spectacular. They showed a North American Wood a Duck family and how the ducklings leave the nest for the first time. Our Australian Wood Ducks are similar and also build nests in trees. The father sticks around a little longer than it’s North American counterpart staying to help raise their young with the mum!

We are working hard to get ready for our next season and are organising duckling emergency kits to distribute to local vets and shelters. They will have food, bedding and warmth with a container to fill with water. I will be listing details soon on how people can donate unwanted washers and hand towels that we can use.

We have now become Bayside Duckling Orphanage in an official capacity and we only want to grow from here! As much as we love being urban bayside rescuers, our dream is one day to have a larger property where we can rescue and house more native ducks and feathered friends who may need us, we thank you for your support and will continue to keep working hard for our little duckling friends! Until next time.

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Christmas time in Bayside!

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The silly season is here and we have had a wonderful time here in Bayside over Christmas and Boxing Day and we hope you and yours did too!

I am happy to report that we have had a reply from FOBW (Friends of Bayside Wildlife) and I also had the pleasure of meeting Michael Norris and Elizabeth Walsh at the Citywide Barbeque who were delightful and had much information for me on the Microbat project they are working on which sounds fascinating! They are featured in last springs Banksia Bulletin and my partner James has written a report on the sanctuary land we are friends of and is featured in the summer issue!

Back to the ducks..! Our Wood Ducks have all grown up and moved to the lake. Out of about 18, we had a call for one we know was ours. It was the smaller of the stooges (Moe) and we think he just flew into a window as after he had recovered, joined the others again and was fine.

The Wood Duck spring season has come to an end and we haven’t had a little one in weeks. The Pacific Black Duck breeds later on in the season however and there have had plenty lost little ducklings handed into local vets. We were surprised to get some a week before Christmas, then on Christmas Eve we get a call for one tiny little one who has now been named ‘Eve’.

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Today was a very hot day and we were very thankful for the lettuce we have been receiving (thanks Woolworths)! We get offcuts from all sorts of greens and lots of different lettuce.

Yesterday we picked up 5 more newly hatched ducklings that we think had their mother attacked by a domestic cat. A lovely lady named Julie saved 4 of them and Mr Cat brought the 5th one in to his owner. He is doing ok, keeping my eye on him though. One of the 4 had a puncture on her little ear and did not make it unfortunately. We are hoping the others pull through ok as I think they may have been chased and batted about a bit.

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More updates to come soon, there will hopefully be more to report in the coming days. I have received offers of help to raise money to support these guys and we will be working hard to try to help find homes for all those we can’t take in. Bayside council will be helping us advertise upcoming carer information sessions and I have been invited to do a story for the Banksia Autumn edition too which will be great!

We hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas and have a great New Year!

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Change a life

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I read a saying today that stuck with me, changed my life if you will. It said, ‘There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one that will change theirs.’

I had someone tell me today that we are doing a great job. Seemingly small thing to say to someone but it made a big difference to me. We have been putting a great deal of our lives into this and we haven’t raised our heads for about 3 months.

I got in contact today with a local ‘Friends of Bayside Wildlife group. They seem to have the same aim we do [coming back now to write this after a busy week I report I’ve had no luck with them. All emails except one have been returned to me].

Some of our ducks have left the nest! A bittersweet victory it is. We have raised these little guys (our Snowy and her 7 giants) since they were just little fluff balls unable to control their bounce. They would just shoot off, so high! Now this Wood Duck group are soaring onto our roof and looking down to me, chatting, telling me this or that. They are very opinionated and talk quite a lot to me as I go about my business.

Today was a little hot here and the ducks were all very slow until just before sunset when the four more outspoken Woodies decided to get in to a mouth off with young crow triplets. I got the hose and joined in, and the triplets flew off indignantly. I worry about them with crows and magpies but they don’t seem to be phased at all now they are older by the big birds.

Tomorrow will be fine weather for ducks and I’m sure there will be more stories about cheeky ducklings. We picked up 5 newly hatched Pacifics so we have lots of funny fluff balls bouncing around.

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Naughty Ducklings!

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Well this morning I awoke to a loud h-h-h-honkkk. One of the Woodies had gone over the fence them forgotten how to fly. I dutifully walked him back while he honked some more at me and went about getting them some feed.

As I did I noticed that two of our Pacifics had flown the coop too and, were tentatively waiting outside their enclosure. As we popped them both over and fed all of them, there is an almighty HONK. I turn around to see one of the younger Woodies (who is not supposed to be out in the communal yard) challenging our Pekin (Puddle is her name) a very proud Pekin. The courage this tiny little Wood Duck had was amazing. I haven’t seen anything like it from the ones before him.

Our Pekins have been oh so jealous and have demanded the same treatment we are giving the ducklings. They have even asked for a small container like they have (as the ducklings are half the size) and my partner and I think they are going through a second ducklinghood. Puddle has been trying to get pregnant for two seasons now so she has been protective of the young ones at least which is good!

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November Rain

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We are awash with it! We have had to elevate all of the older ducklings sleeping areas so that they will not get washed away!

Two of our Woodies have officially left the nest! 😦 It’s a bit sad but the like to pretend they’re ducklings for a couple of hours during the day and have come to the door to say hello quite often which is lovely. It’s bittersweet saying goodbye when they fly off but nice to know they are confident enough wherever they have chosen to stay out for the night.

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This is a pallet we use that is easy to keep clean. With 8 teenage ducks all pigging out you can imagine the mess we have to deal with. We have great drainage and after a wet spell especially treat the land with product but when it stays wet for days/weeks on end there is a danger of the ducks developing rotfoot so we always make sure they have somewhere dry to feed and sleep.

Our little lonely Pacific has been quite sad today. We have been letting her talk to our other Pacifics and look at them without having to worry about them pecking her. She talks to them regularly now and when the older ones move outside, she will be able to join them.

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Today we bought another bale of hay and woodshavings. Looking forward to having more funding next year as we never expected this season to take on this many ducklings! We are at capacity right now and are struggling a little. I have found some great merchandise to work with for next year thankfully and we’ll find a way, we’re committed to getting these little guys looked after!

I will leave you with a bed night kiss from Larry the stooge. Let’s hope for a little sunshine tomorrow! 🙂

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Fine weather for ducks!

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Well today was wet. It was a true spring day and the eucalyptus essence was coming out of everything the rain touched. The ducks were loving it and were quite talkative all day telling me all about how wonderful they thought it was.

I could hear a loud honking this morning and I walked out the front to find Scout (one of our Wood Ducks) nodding at me. I shook my head at him and walked him through. They know to go to the parkland in the opposite direction however Scout likes the green grass at the front and ever since he was a duckling has been quite an adventurous one.

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This afternoon we moved the three stooges into an outdoor hutch and haven’t heard a peep! They seem to like their new accommodation and we definitely like them not being able to jump out and wander around the house at night. I have been woken up by a troop of mixed ducklings only once and I certainly don’t plan on letting it happen again! The three stooges actually do live up to their name too. All of them ran in a circle today, banged into each other then they all honked.

Our youngest member of the orphanage is Peepers. She has just had a tub change and is sitting pretty on surrogate mum again happy as Larry, Curly and Moe!

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Now our cat is being very naughty and needs my attention so more tomorrow!