RESIDENTS and visitors to Lyme Regis always delight at seeing ducklings on the River Lim each spring.
But protecting a brood of 13 from potential predators proved a difficult task for one mallard mum, as three murderous drakes approached the family with deadly intentions this week.
It’s not known why the drakes would attack to kill what could be their own ducklings. But one thing the trio hadn’t been prepared for was the mallard’s ferocious defence of one of her ducklings, as the drake tried to abduct and drown the tiny ball of fluff.
The watching crowd cheered as the mum flew at the raiding drake. Her impact forced him to let go of the duckling, who wriggled free and back to his siblings.
The mallard spent the next couple of minutes staying close to her ducklings and constantly quacking warnings at the would-be abductors. She had to fight off two more attacks before the trio of drakes eventually gave up a flew off.
Unfortunately, the odds of mum keeping all 13 ducklings safe are very low. Predators such as otters, seagulls, mink, stoats, weasels, badgers and foxes can all prove fatal for the ducklings should they come face to face.
Don’t miss the duck race!
It’ll be plastic ducks battling it out on the River Lim on Easter Monday (April 22) as Lyme Regis Christmas Lights Committee hosts one of its regular duck race fundraisers.
The event will see hundreds of individually numbered plastic ducks race down the river, starting outside Higher Mill Flats on Windsor Terrace at 12noon. Lyme Regis town crier Alan Vian will officially start the race.
There will be a host of cash prizes for the first, second and third ducks over the finish line and a bonus prize for the last duck home.
Ducks cost £1 and can be purchased on the day from 11.15am at the start line.
Full details of the event and other fundraising events can be found on the Lyme Regis Christmas Lights Facebook page and on their new website www.lymechristmaslights.co.uk