The Cottage Smallholder

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The puzzle of the nest of mixed eggs

nest with duck and pheasant egssI am working at my friend Carol’s house at the moment; she is so enthusiastic and full of life. Carol rushed back from tennis this morning and popped her head into the conservatory where I was painting.

“I’ve got somtehing for your blog.”
I perked up immediately. Any help with the blog is always gratefully received.

“There’s a nest beside the front door of my friend Alison’s house in Ashley that’s filled with duck and pheasant eggs. It’s incredible. And she says that you can take photos.”

Two wild birds laying in the same nest is highly unusual. At lunchtime I raced home and grabbed my camera. I had half an hour’s work at Digger’s house, so was in the vicinity.

Last night there were six large white duck eggs and six smaller brown greenish pheasant eggs. Sadly, today there were less of each and a few empty shells. Alison has spotted a duck ambling about near the nest door several times. But the duck has vanished.

Fretilised eggs can be laid and wait in limbo until the bird decides to sit. The heat of the bird sets everything in motion. Once a bird starts sitting, the eggs have to remain warm. That is why ducks appear to engage babysiiters when they venture from the nest. I heard today about a duck in the same village that is sitting on a nest of 16 eggs. A duck lays a maximum of one egg a day. Generally they finally sit on a large nest of eggs. Safety in numbers.

This nest is a mystery. Which one is the cuckoo? Is it the duck or the pheasant? I’ve never seen duck and pheasant eggs together on a nest before.

Have you?

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  1. yeah i have!!
    in 2009 in my friend puala’s back garden OMG!

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Nor have I James, since this post!

  3. nope

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