Thursday, 21 March 2013

Ducks Crossing

One morning earlier this week, David and I were out relatively early.  He was off to do a spot of voluntary work at the bridge club and was dropping me off at the local shopping centre on his way.

We were a couple of kilometres down Avoca Drive from our place, when suddenly the cars in front of ours abruptly screeched to a halt.  Now there is a set of traffic lights just there, but I could see perfectly well that they were green our way.  Finally we inched our way to the place where the action was, and all was revealed.

Two frightened ducks with their very anxious drake were trying vainly to cross a 4 lane highway.  They were stepping off the kerb, and venturing out amongst the cars, then taking fright and retreating to the safety of the footpath.  The drake was running back and forth in a very agitated manner quacking loudly, trying to round up his little harem and get them safely to the other side.  You could just hear him saying "come back, come back, it's not safe to cross".

As we carefully inched past, I craned my neck around to see what was going on behind us.  Cars all still piling up, and finally, when we were almost out of sight, I realised that the ducks had made it to the median strip.  That was a relief, but then they had to negotiate the other side.  Thankfully, not as much traffic on that side as it was the tail end of the morning peak hour, and the majority of the cars were on our side of the road, not the other.

For the life of me, I don't know why they were so determined to cross the road.  Brisbane Water is on the side they were on, just 50 metres or so down the side road, and the side they crossed to was houses for 50 metres, then bushland - no water at all on that side.

I worried all day, and well into yesterday as well, wondering if they got back home to the Brisbane Water side of Avoca Drive in one piece.  Sadly there was one duck on the side of the road as we passed that morning, which had evidently not made it on a previous excursion.  Too hard to tell if it was that day or not.

Isn't it lovely to live in a place were the morning peak hour traffic on a busy 4 lane road all comes to a halt to allow a little trio of ducks to go from one side of the road to the other?

Ducks come to visit us moderately often.  They waddle up in a little procession from the waterfront across the road, usually in the early morning, and make themselves busy in our front garden checking for some yummies for breakfast.  Once in a while I throw some birdseed out for them as a treat.

Here is a photo I took from a while back:

That little lot are mostly drakes.  It is more usual for them to arrive in a ratio of one drake to two or three ducks.  Maybe on this occasion, the girls were all minding the babies at home.

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