Dear Bob, who is not a young lady (8 years old!) was sadly interrupted during her first attempt at parenthood this year. Not one to give up easily, it wasn’t long before she was laying again and after a few weeks she began again the long process of sitting. Ducks sit for 4 weeks, and her second attempt coincided with the hottest weather – so we thought she might have to abandon the eggs – but she soldiered on despite the heat and hatched three beautiful little ducklings. They arrived as balls of black fluff, with black bills and black feet – but as they’re growing they are developing some markings around their eyes. We won’t know for sure their adult colourings until they’re fully feathered – a few weeks from now. Another hazard of the heatwave is the loss of water in the duck pond – meaning the water would be too low for tiny ducklings to be able to get out. So the little ones have been kept in their pen – with a galvanised bath for swimming lessons. Since the recent rain the pond levels have risen again – so we tried out a supervised family trip to the pond. Success! All three ducklings were able to get out of the pond so now they are regular swimmers with all their adult duck friends!