AMIDST all of the controversy surrounding her having a place to rest her own head, Eyemouth’s famous feathered friend Ducky now has to think about two more, after her two ducklings hatched last week.
Ducky hit the headlines back in December when her owner, James Anderson got in touch with The Berwickshire News angry that he had been told by Scottish Borders Council she could no longer stay on his patch of land at Eyemouth allotments.
Prior to the letter which was made known to allotment owners by Eyegrow, the group in charge of the land, Ducky and other birds had been permitted to stay overnight and were proving a popular attraction for visitors.
The letter meant that Ducky was effectively homeless and she spent Christmas at a Reston farm owned by one of James’ friends.
It looked like there would be a happy ending to the story when Eyegrow received a letter from SBC saying that an agreement had been reached to amend legislation, thus allowing Ducky and other birds to return to the allotments but there was a further twist in the tail when this was declared incorrect, with the apparent change of heart put down to an “administrative error” on the part of the council.
For the past few months, when she hasn’t been entertaining pupils in schools across Berwickshire, Ducky and her fellow feathered friend Donald have been living in James’ house, much to the delight of his niece Jessica who has grown incredibly fond of them.
James explained that ducks usually need to be fully settled in their surroundings before they become broody so he was quite surprised when he found Ducky sitting on some eggs.
He told The Berwickshire News: “It was a shock when Ducky went broody, after visiting Duns Primary School last month.
“We came home and gave Ducky and Donald a bath and then took them to their shed where over the next two days Ducky laid seven eggs.
“I only let her keep two of the eggs as I can only guarantee a home for two more ducks.
“It was amazing that while all the strife with where her permanent home would be Ducky felt settled enough around people and school children to go broody.
“Normally birds will not go broody if they are disturbed but ducky is so relaxed around people it hasn’t bothered her one bit.”
Just like human mums, Ducky has had to readjust to life as a new mother and James said she and Donald were still finding their feet as parents.
He continued: “Ducky and Donald are doing really well with there first brood; Donald has even taken a very active role in the rearing of the ducklings although he is a bit clumsy and stands on them from time to time!
“He is even helping by sitting next to Ducky in the nest at night to keep the ducklings warm between them.
“They have been super fast learners and are very humanised just like Ducky and Donald.
“Jessica is over the moon that her Ducky has babies although she still refuses to clean them out!”
James and Jessica have shared their excitement of Ducky’s new arrivals with the whole town by launching a competition to name the two ducklings.
The proceeds from the fundraiser will be split down the middle between Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland and the RNLI.
The 50p forms for picking names are in Eyemouth Post Office, Trotters and Occasions and the winning names will be drawn out of a hat in two weeks time.