*BANG* on time this year. Winter on the Gold Coast is frickin awesome – some might laugh derisively that we refer to our days of blue skies and daily averages of 20-25C “winter”, but it says so on the calendar and besides I did tell you the nights can be
bloody freezing rather cold a bit chilly. On the 2nd day of spring it suddenly jumped up to 27C, with a warmth in the air that carried the promise of summer. We’ve been to the beach several times already (last week three days in a row) and want moooore. Though I haven’t been for my first swim yet; a couple more degrees and it’ll be 24C and perfect.
A neighbouring family have been swimming already though – in our pool. Which would be okay if they didn’t also shit in it.
They’re wood ducks, and they are a bunch of dicks, because they visit all the pools in our neighbourhood, impose themselves on everyone’s hospitality, then crap on it. We put up a big plastic hawk from the hardware shop to scare them off but they ignore it. So not cool. We have another reason to want them gone besides the attractive shitstains on the bottom of the pool though… we’re worried about their spring entourage.
I remembered Mum telling me about an old washing tub they had for their pet ducks when she was a kid, and how the baby duckies would hop in for a swim after the adults and the dogs had splashed half the water out, then be unable to get out, and drown… NOT ON MY WATCH!
I chased them multiple times around the edge of the pool, trying to scare them out. The drake got out easily, but the ducklings just kept bouncing off the sides like fluffy little pinballs and falling back into the water.
Hunted around under the house and found a perfect length of timber. Placed it on the side and retreated to the deck, confident they’d be up and out in no time.
I walked around the pool, trying to herd them onto the ramp, but they just kept paddling under and around it. I even left a trail of bread up the ramp to tempt them but they turned their beaks up at it.
I gave them plenty of chances to climb up themselves before I cracked it and took the pool net to them. Tried catching the dicklings but the little buggers dived away from me; they were so little I hadn’t expected that! The parents naturally took exception to this; the drake took to the air quacking angrily and trying to swoop my face so I had to fight him off with the net. Didn’t hit him or anything, just blocked him so he fell into the pool… sometimes the garden. I couldn’t help laughing as I pictured what we must’ve looked like playing duck tennis.
Parents and three quarters of offspring eventually got it and took off, leaving two behind – obviously the geniuses of the family – who I quickly scooped out with the net. Their dad didn’t object this time, he was so obviously over the whole thing.
HEY! YOU’RE WELCOME!!!
Then mum got the ducklings got through the pool fence and headed for the bush next door. Dad, however…
Later: Morons returned at sunset and needed rescuing again. At least it was faster the second time around… only took 10 minutes instead of 40. We then left the plank there, but a few days later got a thermal blanket to cover the pool; they haven’t been back since. I still see them occasionally, flying overhead, heading up the hill to our back neighbour’s place (he’s also a bit of a dick) where they are no doubt giving the next generation their potty training lessons in and around his pool. It always brightens my day.