Monday, August 18, 2008

Feeding The Ducks

Mallards rooting about in the shallows. ............or not, as the case may be. I don't know about other parks, but Kelvingrove have taken to putting up friendly little signs on the railings around the pond, requesting that people don't feed the ducks, providing a series of photos and illustrations to back uyp thewir reasoning. I don't think it's enforced that strictly, and it's certainly not stopped anyone from depositing stuff on the banks of the pond. This is part of the problem, to be honest. People will feed animals anything. I've seen yellow stuff that looked like a cross between ruskoline and cous cous ditched at the side of the pond and of course, left to rot away because even the ruddy pigeons who will make a meal of cigarette butts and dried up chewing gum didn't fancy it. If people fed the birds sensibly, it might not be a big deal. You know, a slice of bread broken down into crumbs and thrown into the water should be no problem at all. On the other hand, half a white loaf dumped on the bank and horsed down by gangs of pigeons, lurking seagulls and finally, the few ducks with the patience to pick up the scraps, just makes a right old fucking mess of the place and invites various species of vermin to hang about the place. For the past few years, they've had Moorhens breeding on the pond, with mixed results, as it seems their eggs are extremely succeptable to predation by larger birds and rats. They can be a little cack handed in their nesting, the old moorhen, though they attempt to make up for it by breeding multiple times in one year. I would love to see more of them about on the pond, they look great and have a rather distinctive call. It seems like there are a couple of adults and an adolescent floating about Kelvingrove, though I haven't seen their nesting efforts this year. I think they've probably got better at making their home less conspicuous. Of course, some may mutter about 'political correctness gone mad' or 'The Nanny State' when requested not to feed the ducks. Maybe so, but it's also a distinct possibility that it's about passing on information and relying on folk using their common sense.
A heron watches for morsels in the emerald green water, at the quieter side of the pond.

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