Bradley Stoke in Bloom: Ducklings & carrots!

Photo of ducklings resting in grass beside the pond at The Common (East),.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

The Common (East) – We are parents!

We were delighted to receive a message that we had ducklings on The Common (East) pond! We had, for a while, seen Millicent on the pond, but Maurice was nowhere to be seen. Then, to our relief, he finally appeared, oblivious to all our concerns, of course. We did what we could to encourage them to stay, but they seemed to disappear again, so we thought they had moved on – but now we know they were just nesting somewhere out of sight. Millicent managed to hatch ten ducklings and proudly revealed them to quite a large adoring crowd. While they were being given a hearty meal of porridge oats and grain by the primary school children, one young lad busily made them their own duckling-sized nest which I’m sure they appreciated. They are incredibly cute, whizzing around like small clockwork toys and taking tiny leaps to catch the low-flying insects. Please can we ask if you come to see them you bring some healthy food with you? Porridge oats, grain, unfrozen peas and shredded vegetable peelings should ensure that they grow up healthy and strong and that the water remains clear. Bread has very little nutritional value and pollutes the water, and mouldy bread can give the birds a fatal lung disease.

Thank you to Adrienne Wheeler who designed a poster for the Three Brooks lake, which we’ve borrowed again for the pond.

Apologies to whoever left the half dozen alcohol security tags on the island, we’ve returned them to the store and the bottles of wine went in the bin. (Although it was done with a very heavy heart as it was a wine I’m rather partial to.)

You may notice in the ‘insect hotels’ bowls of water with marbles in. Please don’t take them! These are bee or insect waterers – the marbles give the insects a safe place to land so they can drink without drowning. They are a huge help to our struggling wildlife and are very easy for your children to make, so we’re hoping every garden in Bradley Stoke will soon boast its own bee waterer.

Rabbit Roundabout

Photo of volunteers from BSiB enjoying a break while working on Great Stoke Roundabout.

You know you’re a proper Bradley Stoke resident when you refer to the Great Stoke Roundabout on the Winterbourne Road as ‘Rabbit Roundabout’, and are able to reminisce about the times when it rather resembled the Teletubbies’ garden! (Although our bunnies were normal sized not the Flemish giants they have.) Sadly there are no more bunnies, and although there were many theories as to where they went, I think their disappearance had much to do with the vixen and her three cubs who also took up residence in the roundabout undergrowth. We had hoped to clear the bramble that untidily sprawls across the corner and is the first thing you see as you enter our town but, in view of the proposed new roadworks here, it would make sense to wait until they have finished. We still checked out the site though, stopping only to celebrate Pepi’s birthday with fizzy bubbles and cake.

Photo of one of five giant "carrots" that have appeared on Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a Rabbit Roundabout).

Our other plan to return Rabbit Roundabout to its former glory would be to install a giant wicker rabbit made by artist Tom Hare, but what do giant rabbits need? Giant food of course! Which is why, with thanks to Stuart and Joe from Kwik Fit, five giant carrots have mysteriously appeared on the roundabout.

Photos: 1 Ducklings rest in grass beside the pond at The Common (East). [Credit: Chloe Messenger] 2 BSiB volunteers take a well-deserved break from their work on ‘Rabbit Roundabout’. 3 One of the giant “carrots”.

How to contact Bradley Stoke in Bloom:

This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 12 &13). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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One comment

  1. A further update on the Common East Pond Ducklings.
    I have been watching over the ducklings since they hatched back in the middle of May, visiting the pond daily (I live 2mins from pond), feeding the ducklings and just generally enjoying them along with many others.

    On Friday 7th June I went up as normal about 9:30am to see them and unfortunately there was only 8 on the pond. My wife informed me that she saw a Heron round the pond at 5:45am so it could of been the culprit to the missing duckling. When I went to see them again on Saturday morning to my dismay they had all gone and hadn’t been seen, including mum and dad.

    When I got home from work this evening (Monday 11th) I set off to find them. I am pleased to let everyone know that I found the ducklings and mum and dad down on the Three Brooks Nature Reserve main pond. Obviously Mum had decided to walk them off the Common East pond to find a new home. I must admit I was quite relieved to find them all there.

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