In the Queanbeyan community facebook group, there is regularly discussion regarding the ducks and swans who inhabit the part of the river that runs through the middle of town. There was much discussion and concern when one of the cygnets went over the weir and became seperated from his family, and community outrage when a body of one of the babies was found dead, attacked by a dog. A debate was had over whether the signet had been killed by a dog, or whether it died by natural causes or some other way and then a local dog had destroyed the body. A local wildlife group who had been involved in the care of the swan family did examine the body to attempt to determine cause of death but were unable to come up with a conclusive answer.
Despite this somewhat morbid tale to begin this post, what has impressed me deeply is the community concern and sense of responsibility for this family of birds.
I’d been meaning to take Briar down to feed them, however whenever we have picnicked by the river banks, I’ve never remembered to bring appropriate food.
Many people feed ducks and waterbirds bread, however this is actually not a suitable food and can cause health issues. Some people speculated it was actually too much bread that killed the recently deceased cygnet in the Queanbeyan river, however that couldn’t be proven.
Last Sunday morning, we finally got ourselves organised and set out to feed the ducks. Briar was over the moon with excitement. We read her the “ducky book” (actually called Ducks Away) several times a week, and sometimes several times a day. The fact that we were feeding the ducks so close to a bridge made it even more exciting and similar to her beloved book.
My friend Tayla was perfect company for a duck feeding expedition as she is very passionate about wildlife. Briar loves her and together they stood on the rocks and fed the water birds peas, corn and oats. It couldnt get much better for Briar, who loves nothing more than throwing things and duckies, so this was the perfect combination.
When we first arrived, there was a photographer taking photos of the water birds so I approached him and asked whether he minded us feeding the birds so close by. He was happy for us to do so, and nearby was another family feeding them oats too, so I’d say this flock of beloved community birds do quite well for themselves.
A young man was also fishing on the banks however we didn’t witness him catch anything whilst we were there.We had a fantastic time and plan to return on the Easter weekend when Briar’s Gran and Pa and Aunty Pat and Uncle Tim are visiting!