~ Five hours old ~
After what felt like months of talking and guessing, I was beginning to think these little lovelies would never hatch.
But they did today.
All 8 of them... and counting!
Little fluffy bundles of mottled gold. They have been hatching one after the other all day. Luckily Jamie decided to work from home today, so he was on hand to set up their duckling food and water straight away. As soon as I heard from Jamie that they were hatching, I arranged to leave work an hour early so I could be home during the last moments of daylight just to squeeze in a little cuddle time.
Cambridge is already a model mum. We have watched her help a few of them out of their eggs, and she puffs herself out to ensure they are all kept warm. She also doesn't seem particularly concerned by our little bit of handling. We returned that little one quickly to her after taking a couple of photos, and she hid him under her wing within seconds. Oxford, on the other hand, looks a little bit lost now that Cambridge is giving all her attention to the little ones. He has been consoling himself with a few laps in the pond.
My sister-in-law Ally had helped me build a wire enclosure for Cambridge and the babies weeks ago, so it was easy just to lock them up tonight. I hope it is enough to protect them from any potential harm... but we will have to let nature take its course.
I do hope nature will be kind to this brood.