Notes from St Tiggywinkles: Coming to the rescue of Britain’s favourite bird

Tiggy's Les Stocker with Sarah Kennedy
Tiggy's Les Stocker with Sarah Kennedy

Normally we would never intervene in nature’s wild situations.

The vast majority are the victims, not of natural occurrences, but rather the result of their encounters with man and man’s world even though most incidents are totally accidental.

Mother Nature may be seen to be a callous mother but ‘needs must’, as she has to cope with that ‘bigger picture’.

We have all witnessed the carnage wherein families of ducklings are wiped out naturally within a few days.

Little bundles of fluff bobbing along with their mother. What could be a more perfect moment?

But then, from beneath, Jaws strikes.

To a pike a duckling is a tasty morsel. All manner of animals take their toll.

Perhaps this is why the duck has so many young.

Added to this peril of a duck’s natural behaviour is their habit of nesting where they have no chance of leading their family to water.

Their trek often goes wrong leaving piteous baby ducks in deadly peril, down drains, on roads, miles from safety.

Or are these really the lucky ones who are picked up?

Our interfering with nature makes sure that these waifs can be carried to safety.

Brought to Tiggys they can be sure of a secure upbringing until they are ready to be released as young adults.

Memorably we have been on some amazing duckling rescues.

A few down a drain in High Street, Oxford.

Often in the land-locked quadrangles of the Oxford Colleges.

A ‘glam’ rescue at the penthouse garden at Sarah Kennedy’s of Radio 2.

Three floors up in Vauxhall, South London we rehomed that mother duck and her family to the grounds of Hartwell House.At the moment we have 134 baby ducks that have been rescued.

We have to prevent them swimming for at least fourteen weeks.

Only their natural mothers have the secret technique of keeping them dry.The humble duck has regularly been voted ‘Britain’s favourite Bird’.

Each one of our hundreds of ducklings is our favourite bird.