The ducks of Canal St
Those of you who used to frequent Eden at the bottom end of Canal Street might remember that for a couple of years a duck made its nest in one of the baskets on the canal wall and then moved to a basket attached to the bridge. On both occasions, after a few weeks we were treated to the sight of several ducklings, and being perched above the canal, when they jumped the nest they took to the canal like a duck to water. Literally.
This year history repeated itself but instead of the canal, a duck made its nest on the balcony of an apartment owner in Bloom Street. When she went for a walk, 10 eggs were revealed. This was around March 17th, a few days before the start of the lockdown.
Time went on and Daphne (her new name) became very comfortable in her new temporary home but would stretch her legs occasionally whilst keeping an eye out for any predators. Her landlord meanwhile provided lettuce, bread and birdseed to keep her fed. The weeks passed and as the time came close, Daphne stayed put more and more, even to the point of allowing herself to be stroked.
On the 14th of April 5 new ducklings were born see picture, and her landlord now became a proud stepfather. On the 15th another 5 came into the world and were running around as Daphne was now calling for them to flee the nest. The problem was that from 4 floors up they’d have plunged to certain death.
So, we gathered them into a crate whilst Daphne looked on and legged it down the fire stairs into Richmond Street in the hope that Daphne would understand what was going on. She did! A moment later she flew over the New Union Hotel and landed in the canal, and a now tearful stepdad decanted his new family onto the water and they paddled away from us.
Who says that lockdown is boring?
Paul Schofield for Canal St Online.