DUCKS and DRAKES to the rescue.
Our pond was covered with a green weed for much of the summer - even though it's fed by spring water.
Throwing in a bale of barley straw was an option to get rid of the weed 'blanket'
Then a flotilla of more than 20 ducks turned up from the village lodge.
They dived in.
And tucked in.
It took them a couple of weeks to eat it all.
Thank you ducks... and drakes.
Just spotted Mother Gooseander setting off with her brood down to Sabden Brook. Eleven days earlier than in 2011. The last gooseanderling to join MG and family is pictured preparing to jump off the farmhouse roof. Click on the tiny blob between the two chimneys. The nest is in the unused chimney on the left of the photo.
The gooseander is nesting again in a chimney pot (unused) on the farmhouse roof. (We've seen the male and the female on the pond or flying about. So they've definitely turned up for the third year.) There's a duck laying eggs in the middle of a thick shrub in the garden. She appears, with her two drake pals who live round the pond, at sheep feeding time to share the sheep proven. Next thing, we'll be seeing the swallows arriving in early April.
The little birds visiting our garden aren't eating the nuts we put out as fast as in previous years. A friend in Lancaster - a much warmer part of the county - has noticed the same pattern. Anyone any idea why?