Ducks at the Roadside
This week I have been to Devon for a couple of days and made a short visit to Cullompton. Driving into the town I spotted some ducks on the pathway which runs adjacent to the road and while I waited for the traffic lights to change I saw three duck houses. One was called “Duckingham Palace”, the other “Duck Down Under” and the third with an extremely steep ramp was called “Can Hardly Get Up Castle” I was with my husband and we laughed at the delightful presence of these little straw filled houses at the bottom of the flower filled gardens on the bank of the river.
After parking up I headed along the river walk and found the duck houses and some 50 ducks enjoying the warm summer sunshine. Many of them were resting on the path and I was amazed as people walked past them and apart from raising their heads to check that there was no threat, they all stayed exactly where they were.
I took some photos and then watched the ducks for a while, many of them preening themselves, others just paddling across the surface of the water and one or two having a bit of a squabble. Yet despite this wonderfully peaceful scene there was a constant steam of traffic just yards from the resting birds. Cars, lorries and motorbikes. And yet these birds just seemed to be oblivious to the noise and no doubt the pollution. It never ceases to amaze me how adaptable our wildlife is when faced with human interference. The river will have been in existence long before the arrival of motorised travel and it does not take a lot of imagination to set the scene with horses and carts, where generations of ducks would have lived quietly alongside their human counterparts in an environment quite different from the one I encountered today.