THESE three mallards are looking for love – and they need to find it if their population is to survive in a borough village.
The desperate drakes in Oakley Pond have lost all of their female companions, and they are in dire need of partners to mate with or they could face becoming extinct in Oakley. Oakley and Deane Parish Council has now resolved to repopulate the village pond with ducks by finding the single mallards some female friends from other villages.
Councillor Jenny Boutle said: “We have just got three lonely mallard ducks. “Do we let them die off or do we try and repopulate?”
The birds have always been a popular attraction at Oakley Pond, on the corner of Hill Road and Oakley Lane, with children going to feed them bread and watch them swim. Cllr Boutle contacted The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for advice about boosting the duck population.
She was told that, left to nature, other ducks may come to the village from elsewhere, but this is not guaranteed. Instead, councillors agreed to look into the possibility of finding spare ducks in another village, such as Whitchurch or North Waltham.
Council clerk Sally Warner said: “The ducks will need to come from further afield because otherwise they have a tendency to fly back.”
The council has estimated it is in need of around six ducks to repopulate the pond. But any females introduced to the water now may be disappointed if they are looking for a faithful companion. The months in which mallards usually form pairs, October and November, have passed. At this time of year, the drakes will only be interested in one thing – mating!
* If you have a spare duck that might be suitable for mating with those in Oakley Pond, contact Oakley Parish Council Clerk Sally Warner on firstname.lastname@example.org.