We’ve just returned from two consecutive and very sodden rescues in the same area.
The first: A mother duck had nested on a roof terrace for a housing complex. Although the terrace overlooked a lake, there was no way for the ducklings to follow her onto the water due to a glass barrier and very steep drop, so the entire family were just huddled on the concrete in the rain. We’ve actually rescued mallards and their ducklings in this exact situation from this location three times previously.
Catching a fully flighted mother duck is always a challenge and we always enter these rescues deeding the possibility that we may not succeed in keeping the family together, but thankfully we managed to net the mother duck without too much difficulty on this occasion, in spite of the dreadful weather. We then rounded up the panicked ducklings. During all of this activity, Lisa quite literally fell into a hedge backwards whilst transferring the ducklings from net to heated carrier. We then trudged down to the water and released the entire family on the lake, adding a layer of mud to our soaking clothes. Excuse me virtually throwing the last duckling - his family were swimming away so I had to act fast to ensure he wasn’t left behind.
Our work wasn’t over yet however, because amazingly, on a different roof terrace within the same housing block, some greylag geese had also nested, again overlooking the water but unable to enter it. They apparently do this every single year - Swan Sanctuary volunteers rescue them every summer, like clockwork.
So we then started from scratch with the geese, catching the mother first who was shielding her babies from the lashing rain and wrestling her into an IKEA bag. Unlike mallards, geese share parenting duties, however we only caught the mother as we were advised that because the family had been rescued so many times, the gander ‘knew the drill’, and would simply fly down to the water to join us partner and offspring once he heard her honking for him.
I didn’t get many photos of this second rescue as by this point we were soaked, and using phones was impossible.
We returned home very wet and cold with many baby animals due their feeds but happy that we’d been able to return two large families to their appropriate habitats.